Harvest Sunday: God Wants You to be FRUITFUL.

The Feast of Tabernacles: God Dwells with His Chosen People

Daily Spirit & Word: 603: The Harvest Feast For All Nations.

This Harvest Sunday: God wants you to be fruitful and to increase.

Good morning my friends, wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could go back to the Jewish way of celebrating Harvest: Tabernacles (Tents or booths): It’s mentioned a few times in the Old Testament, it was a feast primarily for the People of God; the Israelites, but it was also a feast for ALL NATIONS. As I was reading and studying Tabernacles in the Bible I’d forgotten just how much of a LIGHT TO THE NATIONS God had called His chosen people to be. Also that He makes every follower of Jesus into a kind of TABERNACLE (Dwelling place of God, by His Spirit).

The Feast of Tabernacles: (Booths): 

Deuteronomy 16:13-17 Celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles for seven days after you have gathered the produce of your threshing-floor and your winepress. 14  Be joyful at your Feast—you, your sons and daughters, your menservants and maidservants, and the Levites, the aliens, the fatherless and the widows who live in your towns.
15  For seven days celebrate the Feast to the LORD your God at the place the LORD will choose. For the LORD your God will bless you in all your harvest and in all the work of your hands, and your joy will be complete.
16  Three times a year all your men must appear before the LORD your God at the place he will choose: at the Feast of Unleavened Bread, the Feast of Weeks and the Feast of Tabernacles. No man should appear before the LORD empty-handed:
17  Each of you must bring a gift in proportion to the way the LORD your God has blessed you.

It’s a FEAST for Everyone: Even the ALIENS amongst the Jews.
It’s a FEAST of Joyful Celebration.

The Feast of Tabernacles was for ALL NATIONS:

Zec 14:16-19 — Then the survivors from all the nations that have attacked Jerusalem will go up year after year to worship the King, the LORD Almighty, and to celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles. 17 If any of the peoples of the earth do not go up to Jerusalem to worship the King, the LORD Almighty, they will have no rain. 18 If the Egyptian people do not go up and take part, they will have no rain. The LORD will bring on them the plague he inflicts on the nations that do not go up to celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles. 19 This will be the punishment of Egypt and the punishment of all the nations that do not go up to celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles.

  • PEARS:
    I’ve brought some pears from my garden for the Harvest Celebration today.
    Come and help me take a look children: Let’s cut open a pear and see if there are any seeds inside.
    Let’s count the seeds: How many are there?
    How many pears are on my pear tree each year? Probably a few hundred.
    How many seeds are in each pear?
    How many seeds over the lifetime of a pear tree?
    How many pears are in the SEED?

My friends, when the LORD calls His People, to become HIS People: He expects fruitfulness. He wants us all to be A LIGHT TO THE NATIONS. He wants us all to live in such a way, that many, many, countless others will be influenced to also come and LOVE and Worship the Lord our God.

Oh my friends how this DARK WORLD needs the LIGHT of Jesus Christ: You are that light: Yesterday the news broke here in the UK about another shooting in a school in America. Many people were killed, but countless hundreds are being killed every day with bombs, guns and all kinds of evil ways that we hurt each other. My friends if there has ever been a time that this world needed Jesus; it’s TODAY. Only He can change our hearts so that we will NOT want to be evil anymore.

My what a a wonderful Feast we had on Friday Night: Dancing, Eating wonderful foods from people who’ve come from all over the world: Jerk Chicken, Jollof Rice, Mexican Chicken, Chapatis, etc… Wouldn’t it be wonderful if a REVIVAL came and we were able, with the help of the Holy Spirit, to bring thousands of people to our FEAST OF HARVEST CELEBRATIONS.

When we think about my pears and the number of seeds: We can see that just one seed, when it is planted and grown into a tree can re-produce countless thousands of other pears and more seeds. That is how fruitful the LORD wants you and me to be in bringing others to know about the Lord Jesus Christ: He really is the LORD of the Harvest. (Remember the Parable of the Farmer? How the Lord Jesus explained that He wants to see FRUITFULNESS, hundreds of times the number of the seed that was sown into your heart).

Jesus calls us to Celebrate Harvest: But also be ONE of the ones who’s going to be fruitful in bringing in the harvest of souls.

He wants People: He wants people from ALL NATIONS. Jesus Christ is for EVERYONE.

It is my hope and prayer that you will be able to Celebrate Every Harvest with great JOY before the Lord.

It is my hope and prayer that you will be FRUITFUL every years in bringing souls into God’s Kingdom.

Prayer:

Let us pray to the Lord of the Harvest:

Let us ask Him to send out labourers into His Harvest Field.

Les us ask Him to give us His heart for those who don’t know Him yet. Amen.

I hope you all enjoy an amazing Harvest Sunday today: Let’s go out now into the FEAST and Sing to Lord and bring in the Harvest of Souls.

Don.

P.S. Think also about the FRUIT of the Holy Spirit in your life: This is how fruitful the Lord is going to make you:

Also: Just as the LORD Tabernacled with the Israelites for 40 years in a Tent in the Wilderness: So Jesus Christ came and Tabernacled upon the Earth:  John 1:14 (ANIV) 14  The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us (tabernacled). We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.

You are NOW a dwelling place of the Holy Spirit (You are the Tabernacle: God’s Meeting Place)

1 Corinthians 3:16 “Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit lives in you?”
and  1 Corinthians 6:19-20 “Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; 20  you were bought at a price. Therefore honour God with your body.”

God has always wanted to TABERNACLE: Be with, Dwell with His Chosen People: If you are born-again of God’s Holy Spirit: Then you ARE the dwelling place of the LORD. He’s in you no matter where you are on the Earth. He’s with you always.

So be the LIGHT to the World that Jesus has called you to be: Be fruitful and increase. That’s God call for you today, that’s always been His desire, command and will for everyone He calls to Himself.

See Also John 15, the great chapter on FRUITFULNESS. (The Vine and the branches).

 

Knowing Your Enemies: The World.

A Christian faces three enemies on the battlefield

Daily Spirit & Word 566: Know Your Enemies: The World.

Good morning my friends, it’s amazing but true that when you begin following the Prince of Peace, the Lord Jesus Christ, you come under attack from His ememies. Who would want to be an ‘enemy’ of the Lord Jesus? And why would anyone or anything want to take a stand against someone soooo loving, soooo kind, soooo gentle?

Well the truth is as a follower of Jesus Christ you have entered a Battlefield.

On a Battlefield, the missiles are exploding, guns are blazing, bombs are falling and booming, and casualties are mounting. Our first and natural inclination is to get off the Battlefield and save ourselves, but as a Christian you can’t.

As the wisest of Generals know, we should never underestimate our Enemies, but we need to know something from the off: Jesus is the WINNER of this Battle, but the Enemies will just not accept it yet. Satan has been defeated, when Jesus died upon the Cross, rose again from the Dead and Ascended into Heaven: So Satan now runs around like a wounded lion, but as you know a wounded lion is sometimes more dangerous and desperate than an uninjured lion.

Followers of Jesus need to know their Enemies: It’s been said that we have THREE major enemies: The World, The Flesh and The Devil.

Lets take them in turn over three studies:

Your First Enemy: “The WORLD”.

You might object about that, as I did, because isn’t the World that God made a beautiful and stunning place? I do love this amazing and awesome world and all that God has provided for our enjoyment. However, there is something that not quite ‘right’ with God’s Created World: Part of the Created World is Polluted: I’m not talking about Carbon emissions or global warming or nuclear waste though, but the pollution is; rebellion, rejection of God as King.

It’s that polluted part of God’s Good Creation that is in Rebellion against Him: That World System that loves the Darkness and Hates the Light:

John 3:18-21  “Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.
19  This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil20  Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. 21  But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what he has done has been done through God.” 

Everyone: Who does EVIL hates the Light (Jesus).

The World System that hates Jesus is “EVERYONE” who does EVIL.

What is EVIL?

You might say, well I’m not ‘EVIL’: Simply put, ‘evil’ is rejection of God and all that’s good. We do ‘evil’ when we; lie, steal, cheat, lust, disobey our parents, covet (inordinate desire of things of this world) and blaspheme God (by using God’s name or Jesus Christ as a swear word). Now we know what the Evil World is: But there’s more….

However, we don’t really know the full effects of the sinful decisions that Adam and Eve made in the Garden of Eden and how that decision has infected every human soul since. We’re born into that same kind rebellion, we’re born on the opposite side, we’re born opposing Jesus, we’re born an enemy of the LIGHT.

Whenever anyone comes into the Light it’s as if they are like those who escaped from Communism during the Cold War: They had to sneak out of Russia or those Eastern Block countries that were part of the Russian Federation. The were called “Defectors“: When you come over to Jesus camp, when you come across over to the side of light, you are defecting against the rule and reign of Satan and the world system under his authority.

Evil is what we are when we are born: Because we’re born into sinful rebellion against the Creator and His wishes. We’re in the camp of the enemy until we defect (Repent and Trust in Jesus side).

We’re Born LOVING Rebellion:

Just as the Russians viewed Defectors as Enemies of the State: So Satan and his world system views everyone who comes over to the side of Jesus as Enemies: So your first enemy is the World (Governed by it’s Ruller: Satan). It’s the Evil World System, but not the world that God Created Good. (Hope you can now see how the world is polluted?).

What is this Rebellious World Like:

We know what living in rebellion against God is like, if we’ve traveled from the Darkness into the Light: We must have come through the darkness ourselves, we must have passed over into the light or we would not be Christians, we would not be followers of Jesus yet.

From DARKNESS to LIGHT: From Satan’s Evil World Order to the Rule and Reign of King Jesus.

Isaiah 9:2  “The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned. “

Remedy: The Soul that Seeks The Light:

“The People Walking In Darkness Have Seen A Great Light”

It’s like there’s light, hope, joy, love, peace at the end of a long-dark-tunnel.

Those Defecting from Russia were escaping a cruel and hard Dictatorial Communist regime and crossing over to freedom in the free Western world governed by Human rights ruled by Democracy.

A Christian is Defecting: A world system ruled by Satan, who wants to enslave people and keep them in bondage. He wants to blind people so that they cannot see the light. He wants to keep people in Darkness and ignorance of their true condition.

Isaiah and John wrote the same thing;

In John’s Gospel we get a clear indication of How we can know the difference between the Kingdoms of Light and Darkness:

John 1:1-13
1  In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. (Jesus is God).
2  He was with God in the beginning. (Jesus is the Eternal God).
3  Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. (Jesus is the Creator).
4  In him was life, and that life was the light of men. (Jesus GIVES life to everyone).
5  The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it. (Jesus came into the world).
6  There came a man who was sent from God; his name was John. (John the Baptist).
7  He came as a witness to testify concerning that light, so that through him all men might believe.
8  He himself was not the light; he came only as a witness to the light.
9  The true light that gives light to every man was coming into the world. 
10  He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognise him.
11  He came to that which was his own (the Jewish People), but his own did not receive him.
12  Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God— (Every Christian who comes over into Jesus side in this battle becomes a child of God).
13  children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God. (The Holy Spirit of God brings about the new birth, you are born-again into God’s Eternal Family when you trust in Jesus Christ for Salvation or when you defect out of Satan’s World System)

The DARK Night Of The Soul: In this amazing and difficult book, John of the Cross reveals the dilemma for mankind; crossing over from Darkness into the Light: He calls it’

“Dark Night Of The Soul:”  goes on to say; “We may say that there are three reasons for which this journey made by the soul to union with God is called night. The first has to do with the point from which the soul goes forth, for it has gradually to deprive itself of desire for all the worldly things which it possessed, by denying them to itself; the which denial and deprivation are, as it were, night to all the senses of man. The second reason has to do with the mean, or the road along which the soul must travel to this union — that is, faith, which is likewise as dark as night to the understanding. The third has to do with the point to which it travels — namely, God, Who, equally, is dark night to the soul in this life. These three nights must pass through the soul — or, rather, the soul must pass through them — in order that it may come to Divine union with God.

Ascent of Mount Carmel.”

The Three:

Worldly Things: Love for the world and it’s pleasures, the sensual world, the rebellious world.

FAITH: Darkness, we don’t naturally possess faith. We don’t naturally understand faith.

God: We’re not born knowing God, we know that He exists, but we don’t know Him personally, we’re born estranged from God, we’re born in Darkness needing the light of faith and Jesus before we can ever see the light and cross over from the Darkness of this world into His Kingdom of light.

There’s nothing wrong with the things of this world, but it’s our inordinate affection for them: We want the world too much. We want to possess the world and have it all for ourselves, but this inordinate affection is nothing short of Idolatry: Making the World our God: Loving the World more than the Creator who made it.

Escape: The Bible tells us the Christian has escaped the ‘corruption of the world’.

2 Peter 1:3-4 His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. 4  Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.

So we need to say, “Goodbye” to the World System and it’s Ruler.

The first enemy is the World for the Christian, the next Enemy is our own flesh and our arch-enemy is Satan.

PRAYER: Oh Lord Jesus Christ, we’ve seen today just how important it is to know about our enemies. Today we’ve thought about the fact that when we are born, we’re born into a world system that is in rebellion against You. Lord Jesus, since I’ve come over to Your side by believing and trusting in You as my Lord (KING) and Master, please help me to live in this world, knowing that I’m part of a different Kingdom, that I am Your Ambassador Lord, please help me to represent You with love, gentleness, faithfulness and honour today. Please keep me from loving this world so much that I’m falling away from You. I don’t want to have an inordinate affection for this world Lord, so help me to LOVE YOU with all my heart, mind, soul and strength. Thank You Lord for setting me free from the World and letting me see the awesome light of Your Kingdom. Amen.

Have an Awesome Saturday in the Kingdom of the KING of Kings my friends.

Don.

NOTE: The Gospel Good NEWS of Jesus.

Discover: The Spirit Filled Christian Life.

 

A Darkness That Can Be Felt: Walk In The Light

A great darkness covered the land

Daily Spirit & Word, 550: Walk In The Light

Great Is The Darkness: “A Darkness That Can Be Felt”

Good morning my friends, I was half-dreaming half-awake this morning at 4.30am and the Lord was speaking to me about the DARKNESS. I got up quickly and opened my Bible and the Software and began to study the ‘darkness’ in the Bible.

The Word the Lord gave me was; “A Darkness that may be felt.”

Exodus 10:21 (NIV) “Then the LORD said to Moses, “Stretch out your hand towards the sky so that darkness will spread over Egypt—darkness that can be felt.””

  • When Mankind walks away from God, they walk away from the light into a DARKNESS that can be felt.
  • A moral darkness covers the land.
  • To be in the darkness is to be without the light of Christ.
  • To be in the dark, is to be blind, blinded, can’t see.

They are blinded to their need of salvation. 2 Cor 4:4.
They are blinded to their moral condition. (Call sin good).
They are blinded to their destiny. (Don’t believe, choose not to accept, deny; Hell).
They are robbed of a sense of fear of God (They are bold, brazen about sin).
They are darkened in their understanding of anything good.

Great IS the Darkness.

Last night at the Monthly Prayer Meeting in Church, we touched upon the subject of the moral condition of those that don’t yet know Christ as Lord. A great discussion ensued about homosexuality being the NEW Schism in the church. How many who call themselves Christians are now saying that it’s OK to be homosexual, even so called Evangelicals are walking over to the dark side.

We got that from just re-reading Sunday’s lesson from 1 Corinthians 1:18-25.

Ten of the most well known Christian preachers / teachers were interviewed and asked their opinion on the subject of same-sex-marriage and homosexuality: You can watch their answers by clicking the link at the bottom.

Note: The one’s that gave the clearest answers were those who have the highest regard for the Word of the Lord. When the Bible says something, it’s as if God has said it. It’s true my friends, the Bible IS God’s WORD on any subject. Note those that gave the weakest answers were those who had a higher regard for what people feel. Joel Osteen, for instance, was determined that he didn’t want to upset anyone. Almost as soon as he acknowledged homosexuality was a sin, he immediately tried to cover-up that fact and that he believed it. So frightened is he of upsetting his ‘Positivity’ message.

DARKNESS: Is a kind of moral blindness in the Bible.

It’s an inability to see what sin is. It’s a failure to acknowledge sin as sin.

It’s an sensual-feeling darkness. A darkness that can be felt.

I’ve had one of those nights when the LORD was speaking to me about the DARKNESS and how great is that darkness. It wouldn’t go away. It came at me again and again in the night: Benighted.

We’ve also had that feeling of Darkness too; when out sharing the Gospel of Jesus. There are some individuals, that when you speak with them about Jesus, they give off a kind of darkness that can be felt. You can feel it in your soul the moment you begin speaking with them. More often than not this happens when people declare that they’ve rejected God or turned away from Him because of their lifestyle. Read Sarah’s Story (Link at bottom of page) and you’ll see that the Darkness is real.

However: BLIND people don’t need our condemnation.

They need to be brought into the light.

They need our LOVE no matter what it is they’ve done.

They need to be saved from the darkness.

Read Sarah’s Story of Deliverance from Sam-Sex-Attraction (Link at bottom).

Nor can we boast; (By ‘we’ I mean Christians).

  • We did not save ourselves.
  • We are not saved because of our own goodness. (Rom 3:20)
  • We are ALL sinners: Because we’ve ALL fallen short of God’s goodness (Rom 3:23).
  • We are SAVED by God’s GRACE not by our own good works. (Ephesians 2:8-9).

2 Corinthians 4:2-6
2  Rather, we have renounced secret and shameful ways; we do not use deception, nor do we distort the word of God. On the contrary, by setting forth the truth plainly we commend ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God.
3  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.

If a blind man was walking towards the edge of a cliff???? Surely LOVE would compel you to shout a warning.

Blind are they that walk in darkness.

If a blind man had tripped over something, you would not blame the Blind Man would you? No! You’d blame the person who put the obstacle in the Blind Man’s pathway.

Satan has blinded:

Our battle is NOT against flesh and blood.

Isaiah 5:20  “Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter.”

The Darkness that can be felt: Is for those who are perishing, those on their way to death and destruction in Hell. Love, compassion and kindness compels us to share the good news of Jesus that we may save some from the darkness.

WHO IS IN THIS DARKNESS? (Don’t be Deceived).

1 Corinthians 6:9-11 “Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders,
10  nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.
11  And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.”

Those in Darkness: We don’t normally think that a ‘greedy’ person is wicked or in DARKNESS do we? Let us NOT be deceived.

The human tendency is to point the finger at something that we are not; thinking that we are ‘something’ when we are not. We didn’t save ourselves, Jesus did that. We are in Christ, because of Christ. (1 Corinthians 1:30).

1 Corinthians 1:29-31 “so that no-one may boast before him. 30  It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption. 31  Therefore, as it is written: “Let him who boasts boast in the Lord.””

PRAY: That the LORD will, by His Holy Spirit, lead our Nations out of this great darkness. That He’ll so fill His people with a deep compassion for those that have been blinded, who are in darkness, that we will do everything we can to bring others into the light of Jesus Christ, and that by His grace and kindness He’s given to each one of us, we’ll draw others to HIM.

FEAR OF THE DARKNESS:

Before I came to know the Lord Jesus, I was afraid of the DARKNESS. I hated being in dark places. I could feel the darkness. It was horrible. Once, when I was alone in bed in a darkened room, I could feel the presence of evil. I called out to the LORD Jesus Christ and asked Him to be with me, in the darkness. Since that night, I’ve NEVER been afraid of the DARKNESS again. I was set free from the fear of the darkness by Jesus. My friends, many who are walking in the darkness are afraid, they’re frightened of the light, they don’t want to come into the light for fear; fear that they are going to be exposed / reproved (John 3:20).

John 3:20 “For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.” KJV.

John 3:19-20 “This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. 20  Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed.” NIV.

Finally, Jesus declared; John 8:12 “When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.””

  • Everyone can be set free to walk in the light.
  • Everyone has a Conscience (they know what they are doing is wrong).
  • The Darkness can be felt.

Walk in the Light. (1 John 1:6-8)

1 John 1:6-8 “If we claim to have fellowship with him yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live by the truth.

7  But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin. 8  If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.”

I’m praying that I can be walking in the light of the Lord Jesus Christ today.

Set me free from the DARKNESS Lord.
Keep me free from the DARKNESS Lord.
Help me to be an instrument for good Lord, to lead others into the Light. Amen.

Don.

P.S. LINK to Ten World Renowned Church Leaders Thoughts on Homosexual Marriage / Same Sex-Marriage.

Sarah Mourer
Sarah’s Deliverance From Same-Sex-Attraction.

P.P.S: Read Sarah’s Story of Deliverance from Sam-Sex-Attraction

 

Taste and SEE that the LORD IS Good

trusting Jesus instead of religion

Daily Spirit & Word, 534: Taste and See That The Lord Is Good.

Psalm 34:8 (NIV) “Taste and see that the LORD is good;
blessed is the man who takes refuge in him.”

Have you ever been given something to drink and the person giving it says, “Go on taste it, you’ll see that it’s good”? If you are twenty or older then you’ll not take a person’s word for it, because you’ve heard that statement before, you’ve had bad experiences when someone’s told you “It tastes great” and you’ve tasted it and it’s been horrible, sometimes all you’ve wanted to do is spit it our of your mouth. However, like ‘real’ coffee, once you’ve tried it, you’ll never want to go back to instant coffee again. Or when someone gives you a cup of instant, you’ll say “Oh, thank you very much”, but all your instincts will be to spew it out of your mouth.

When the Bible encourages us to “Taste and See” it’s encouraging us to try the genuine article, the bee-knees of religions, because faith in the LORD is the only genuine faith on the Earth today. All other religions might taste ok for a while, but once you’ve TASTED the LORD, there’s no going back.

So many people have had bad or negative experiences of ‘Christianity’ or ‘religion’, so when we tell people; “Go on try Jesus” It’s no wonder they look at us sceptically. Because they’ve tried ‘religions’ before, they didn’t live up to expectations, they didn’t deliver, so why should this Jesus guy be any different?

Sceptical = Disbelieving, doubting, questioning, unbelieving.

“Why is Jesus different from ‘religion’?”

The Answer:

The answer is in the question; ‘they’ve tried ‘religion’, but Christianity is very different from every other faith on the planet, it’s not about ‘religion’ but about a person, the person of Jesus Christ. Once you’ve tasted the LORD there’s no going back. Why? Because Jesus is the only genuine faith. Following Jesus is the only way to Heaven. Submitting to Jesus as LORD (tasting) is the only way to discover that Christianity is TRUE to all it’s promises. It’s the only religion that cannot be tried before you buy. With Jesus it’s ALL of NOTHING.

You can try, as countless millions all over the world are doing right now, they’re trying the Christian ‘religion’ without coming to Jesus. Religion is empty, even the so called ‘Christian’ religion. That’s why it’s so difficult sometimes to bring people to the Saviour, they’ve tried being ‘religious’, those aspects of the Christian Faith: prayer, confession, belief, communion, baptism, church attendance and religious activities and found (as you rightly would) there’s nothing in it, it’s empty.

That’s because Jesus didn’t call us to a ‘religion’, He called us to Himself. He said, “Come to me” (Matthew 11:28-30).

McDonald’s Without A Burger:

It’s a bit like going to a McDonald’s Drive Through, and after ordering and paying for your burger, you drive to a nice viewpoint to enjoy your Happy Meal, only to discover that when you sink your teeth into your bun, the burger is missing. Everything else is there; the lettuce, the tomato, the gherkin, the mayo and the tomato sauce, but where’s the burger? My friends, that’s exactly what any ‘religion’ is like without the LORD Jesus Christ. It’s empty, it doesn’t taste good, it tastes horrible, it just doesn’t deliver. So no wonder people are twice as hard-hearted when we try and tell them about the Lord Jesus. They’ve tried the so called ‘christian’ religion before, what’s going to be different this time?

LOOK at the results of truly TASTING:

Our verse today contains two promises for those who come and taste the SAVIOUR: The LORD.

The First Promise: “Taste and SEE”. 

When we TASTE Jesus Christ our SIGHT is altered. We’ll actually SEE or KNOW.

What do you SEE? When you taste the LORD: Again go back to our verse and you’ll see that the LORD is “Good“.

He actually delivers upon this promise my friends. God really is GOOD and when we come to Jesus Christ first, before being religious or instead of being religious, then the Christian religion will begin make more sense. You’ll see if you taste the Lord Jesus first.

Until you come to Jesus Christ: You will be blind, you will not see, you will be in total spiritual darkness.  Jesus Christ is the LORD this passage is talking about. He’s the only one who can open your blind eyes and let you see.

Look at this passage from John’s Gospel below, and you’ll begin to see, but you will not see FULLY until you actually come; to trust the WORD, to receive and trust the LIGHT of the world the LORD Jesus:

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

What can we ‘SEE’ from the passage above? Jesus Christ is;

  • The WORD of God. (verse 1).
  • He is God (Verse 1)
  • He Created ALL THINGS (The Universe). (Verses 2&3).
  • He is the LIGHT of ALL LIFE. He gives ‘life’ to every creature (created thing). (Verse 4)
  • He wants to give NEW LIFE to mankind, but mankind is in DARKNESS (When you are in darkness you cannot see).

“OK, BUT How do we begin to SEE?”

Just read on a few verses in John and you’ll SEE my friends, our eyes are opened once we obey this next step of faith:

John 1:10-13 “He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognise him.
11  He came to that which was his own (the Jewish people), but his own did not receive him.
12  Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God—
13  children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.

Are you beginning to see? The Promise of being able to SEE comes true when we taste (receive) the LORD Jesus Christ.

The Second Promise: “Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him”. 

You’ll be so blessed by tasting and seeing that the LORD is good.

Blessed beyond your wildest dreams.

Many people will now be asking, OK what’s the difference between ‘religious’ activity or practice and this tasting? Being religious without first coming to Jesus really is like a McDonald’s without a burger in the bun.

  • It’s like having a fire in the winter and not lighting the fuel.
  • It’s like having a rocket without the rocket fuel.
  • It’s like getting an empty burger from McDonald’s.

So my friends, how do you taste the Lord? How do you see? How do you get blessed?

It’s the way we come to the Lord. Instead of being ‘religious’ following the practices of the Christian ‘religion’, we must come to the LORD Jesus Christ Himself first, then we’ll see, then we’ll know, then we’ll be blessed.

What did the first followers see when they trusted, followed and received Jesus Christ?

John 1:14 14  The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.

My friends, you’ll see the GLORY (The Goodness) of the Lord.

Again this is Jesus’ own promise to you.

John 17:24-26 24  “Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, and to see my glory, the glory you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the world.
25  “Righteous Father, though the world does not know you, I know you, and they know that you have sent me.
26  I have made you known to them, and will continue to make you known in order that the love you have for me may be in them and that I myself may be in them.”

Once you receive Jesus (John 1:12) then John 17:26 comes to fulfillment “that I myself may be in them”… Jesus is IN you forever, you’ll SEE, you’ll KNOW and you’ll BE blessed. Why? Because you’ll see the glory (goodness) of the LORD. John 1:14, John 17:24.

If you have tried ‘religion’ and found it empty.

If you have tried the Christian ‘religion’ and found it empty.

Then, It’s no wonder, because no ‘religion’ can ever enable you to see and know and be. You must come to Jesus Christ first and receive Him as the LORD of your life, then you see, then you’ll know the goodness of the LORD.

Can I encourage you today to come in repentance and receive Jesus Christ by faith today?

Once you do, you’ll SEE and KNOW and BE blessed.

Psalm 34:8 (NIV) “Taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the man who takes refuge in him.”

The Christian ‘religion’ is ALL about Jesus.

If you are ready to give up religion and trust Jesus instead click HERE for the Good NEWS.

You may also need to be Filled with the Holy Spirit, then you can click HERE. to discover the Spirit Filled Life.

Don.

 

Hearing God’s Voice Today

God Speaks but Samuel fails to discern His voice

Daily Spirit & Word: 531: Hearing God’s Voice Today.

Good morning my friends, it’s going to be an exciting Lord’s Day, because the first Sunday of the month is Feast Day in West Norwood. People will come from miles around to visit our part of London. They’ll come to sample: food, music, art, crafts and creativity. They come to be with friends in a friendly atmosphere, they’ll gather in the gardens and sit down to eat and watch their children playing. They come because they’ve got a hunger within; but there’s a problem, they don’t really know what it is they’re hungering for. Some of them think they do, and would probably argue about what I am going to say, but non-the-less I’m going to put my neck on the chopping-block and say; “They’re hungry for God, but they don’t know it”. They’re trying to satisfy the deepest hunger anyone and everyone could ever have or ever will have, with the created things, rather than with the Creator.

We’re living in a time today, very much like it was in the days of Samuel. We’re going to see today that Samuel had some problems and so have we, but he found the answers and so can we: But Samuel needed someone to tell him what to do to get his answer to the problems, and so does everyone in the world today.

Samuel Hear’s God’s Call:

1 Samuel 3:1-11 1 The boy Samuel ministered before the LORD under Eli. In those days the word of the LORD was rare; there were not many visions.
2  One night Eli, whose eyes were becoming so weak that he could barely see, was lying down in his usual place.
3  The lamp of God had not yet gone out, and Samuel was lying down in the temple of the LORD, where the ark of God was.
4  Then the LORD called Samuel. Samuel answered, “Here I am.”
5  And he ran to Eli and said, “Here I am; you called me.” But Eli said, “I did not call; go back and lie down.” So he went and lay down.
6  Again the LORD called, “Samuel!” And Samuel got up and went to Eli and said, “Here I am; you called me.” “My son,” Eli said, “I did not call; go back and lie down.”
7  Now Samuel did not yet know the LORD: The word of the LORD had not yet been revealed to him.
8  The LORD called Samuel a third time, and Samuel got up and went to Eli and said, “Here I am; you called me.” Then Eli realised that the LORD was calling the boy.
9  So Eli told Samuel, “Go and lie down, and if he calls you, say, ‘Speak, LORD, for your servant is listening.’ ” So Samuel went and lay down in his place.
10  The LORD came and stood there, calling as at the other times, “Samuel! Samuel!” Then Samuel said, “Speak, for your servant is listening.”
11  And the LORD said to Samuel: “See, I am about to do something in Israel that will make the ears of everyone who hears of it tingle.

A Little Background About Samuel:

Samuel was God’s gift to his mother. For years she couldn’t have children, but went to the House of the Lord to pray about it. The House of the Lord in those days was the Tabernacle: The Tent of Meeting. Priests would serve the Lord there. So Hannah went and prayed and the Lord answered her prayers. She called him SAMUEL BECAUSE “The Lord Hears” or “God has heard”, that’s what Samuel’s name means.

Once Samuel was weaned, i.e. She was able to give him ordinary food and not breast milk: She took him to the Temple of the Lord and dedicated him to the LORD. She left him at the Temple to serve the LORD all the days of his life.

Imagine that: The most precious gift anyone could ever be given and she gives it back to the Lord. The gift was a child and Hannah was so overjoyed, that she gave her son away at a very young age to serve the Lord forever.

In those Days: The Priests who ministered before the Lord: Offering Sacrifices, were very wicked indeed, but Samuel grew up and served the Lord faithfully. He became popular with all the people of Israel who came to the Temple to offer their annual sacrifices to the Lord.

Samuel was being instructed by a man called Eli: (It was Eli’s sons, the priests, who were the most wicked).

Problem 1: God’s Voice Is Rare: (But the Lamp Still Burned).

(He’s not giving many visions). {Because of Wickedness: Sin cuts us off from God}

The reason God’s Voice was RARE: Was because everyone was doing what they wanted to do, instead of what God wanted. Judges 21:25 (AMP) “In those days there was no king in Israel; every man did what was right in his own eyes.”

  • They did what they thought best. 
  • They didn’t seek God.
  • They didn’t care about what God wanted or had said.

Even the ones who’re meant to be ‘Good’ were ‘Bad and Corrupt’: The Priests working in the Temple (The Meeting Place with God).

1 Samuel 2:22 (NIV) “Now Eli, who was very old, heard about everything his sons were doing to all Israel and how they slept with the women who served at the entrance to the Tent of Meeting.” (See notes about God’s Judgement at the end).

However: There is HOPE because “The Lamp Still Burned”: It hadn’t gone out yet. (1 Samuel 3:3 and Leviticus 24:2).

And we too live in similar circumstances: People are wicked, they do what they think is right in their own eyes, the priests and ministers are wicked, they like Eli, don’t try and correct the wickedness of our day, they go along with the world’s ways instead of God’s ways. However, there is HOPE: Because the Lamp is still burning today.

Jesus is the Light of the World: But the WORLD (Just like Samuel didn’t recognise the voice of the Lord at first), cannot see Jesus for who He is…

John 1:9-10 “The true light that gives light to every man was coming into the world. 10  He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognise him.”

My friends, Jesus can give us the Light we need in our lives today. But will we let Jesus the Light of the World into our lives?

Problem 2: Didn’t Recognise God’s Voice:

{Because of Ignorance: We don’t recognise God’s Voice}

Though Samuel was serving in the Temple (verse 3) and Ministering before the LORD (verse 1) The problem was, he didn’t recognise the voice of the LORD when He called out to him. (verse 5). Three times the Lord called out “Samuel, Samuel” each time the boy ran to Eli and said, “What do you want master”. He just didn’t know it was God speaking to Him.

People today don’t Know God: They can’t Hear God. God is still speaking, He’s still calling out to people, He’s still drawing people and putting a deep hunger in their hearts, but they don’t recognise His call today. They also mis-interpret the deep hunger and try to fill it with the things of this world. It will never satisfy, because it was only meant to be satisfied with God Himself.

Thankfully Eli came to the rescue:

He realised it was the LORD calling Samuel. (Verse 8).

1 Samuel 3:8 (NIV) “The LORD called Samuel a third time, and Samuel got up and went to Eli and said, “Here I am; you called me.” Then Eli realised that the LORD was calling the boy.

My friends, there is a way for people to HEAR God’s Call: We’re the Priests like Eli. We know God is calling people, we just need to do what Eli did and say, “It’s the LORD calling you”… To those who’re trying to satisfy God’s call with the things of the world. They’re confused and mis-interpret the hunger. They’re not hearing or perceiving or understanding that God put that deep hunger for significance and meaning for life within them. It’s God that put eternity into everyone’s heart.

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

It can only be satisfied when they come to Jesus who gave them the gift of the knowledge of Eternity in their hearts. (I.E. People know that this life is NOT all there is, because God has planted ETERNITY into everyone’s heart).

Christians to the Rescue:

Ephesians 2:8-9 (NIV) “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9  not by works, so that no-one can boast.” God gives the gift of faith or FAITH is a Gift.

How do we get the Gift of Faith: Faith comes by Hearing God’s Word:

It comes by Hearing His Word: (The Call). Romans 10:17  “Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ.”

When people get the faith as a gift, they’ll hear the call of the Gospel. But the World needs someone, like Eli, to tell them, “It’s the LORD who’s calling you my child”.

Christian are called and equipped by the Lord to take His message to a world that’s in the Darkness needing the Light.

Problem 3: Not Knowing What To Say:

{People need to know HOW to respond to God’s call}

God’s speaking, but people don’t know HOW to answer Him.

Samuel heard God’s voice, didn’t know it was God and Eli told him what to say.

1 Samuel 3:9-11 (NIV)

9  So Eli told Samuel, “Go and lie down, and if he calls you, say, ‘Speak, LORD, for your servant is listening.’ ” So Samuel went and lay down in his place.
10  The LORD came and stood there, calling as at the other times, “Samuel! Samuel!” Then Samuel said, “Speak, for your servant is listening.”
11  And the LORD said to Samuel: “See, I am about to do something in Israel that will make the ears of everyone who hears of it tingle.

Samuel only had seven words to remember; “Speak, LORD, for your servant is listening”

Did you notice that He missed out the most important one: LORD!

Because Samuel answered, “Speak, for your servant is listening.”

My friends, People in the World today: Have these same three basic problems:

1) Because of Wickedness: They’re cut off from God.

2) Because of Ignorance: They don’t recognise that God’s put a hunger in their hearts.

3) They Don’t Know How to respond to God: The need to be shown HOW to respond.

What a wonderful word from the LORD today. Even though Samuel missed out the most important word: “LORD“, the LORD still came and spoke to Him.

My friends, it’s NOT the word’s that are important: It’s the response of your hearts. 

If you recognised that God is calling out to you today: Just open up your life to Him. He’s still calling and standing with His outstretched arms:

Matthew 11:27-30 27  “All things have been committed to me by my Father. No-one knows the Son except the Father, and no-one knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him. 
28  “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.
29  Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.
30  For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

Jesus is saying to you today: “Come to Me” “Come”.

People often respond; “Yes, but HOW? How can I come to Jesus?”

Here’s HOW:

  • Believe: that Jesus died upon the Cross for your sins. (The Barrier Has been Broken).
  • Repent: Turn from your sins and believe that He’s paid the price: Death for sin. (Respond to His call).
  • Receive: Trust in Jesus Christ as your Saviour from sin’s curse, and receive Him as your LORD. (Take Him as your Saviour).
  • Serve: His yoke is easy and His burden is light: He’s got things for you to do and a way for you to be.

Can you HEAR the voice of the LORD today?

  • He’s calling His Children to take His Message to the World.
  • He’s calling the World to Himself.
  • He’s waiting for a response from both; His Children, those who’ve trusted Jesus and received Him as Lord, to be reaching out to a world that’s in darkness, that needs the light in their lives, to be faithful like old Eli and point them to the Lord.
  • He’s waiting for the world to hear His voice: Those who’ve yet to; believe in Jesus death, repent of their sins and receive Him as Lord. 

My prayer is; “No matter who you are today, you’ll respond to God’s Call, and quickly.”

Amen!

Don.

Notes: The Prophesy Against Eli’s House:

Reveals the wickedness of his sons.

1 Samuel 2:27-36 27  Now a man of God came to Eli and said to him, “This is what the LORD says: ‘Did I not clearly reveal myself to your father’s house when they were in Egypt under Pharaoh?
28  I chose your father out of all the tribes of Israel to be my priest, to go up to my altar, to burn incense, and to wear an ephod in my presence. I also gave your father’s house all the offerings made with fire by the Israelites.
29  Why do you scorn my sacrifice and offering that I prescribed for my dwelling? Why do you honour your sons more than me by fattening yourselves on the choice parts of every offering made by my people Israel?’
30  “Therefore the LORD, the God of Israel, declares: ‘I promised that your house and your father’s house would minister before me for ever.’ But now the LORD declares: ‘Far be it from me! Those who honour me I will honour, but those who despise me will be disdained.
31  The time is coming when I will cut short your strength and the strength of your father’s house, so that there will not be an old man in your family line
32  and you will see distress in my dwelling. Although good will be done to Israel, in your family line there will never be an old man.
33  Every one of you that I do not cut off from my altar will be spared only to blind your eyes with tears and to grieve your heart, and all your descendants will die in the prime of life.
34  ” ‘And what happens to your two sons, Hophni and Phinehas, will be a sign to you—they will both die on the same day.
35  I will raise up for myself a faithful priest, who will do according to what is in my heart and mind. I will firmly establish his house, and he will minister before my anointed one always.
36  Then everyone left in your family line will come and bow down before him for a piece of silver and a crust of bread and plead, “Appoint me to some priestly office so that I can have food to eat.” ‘ “

Yes you can my friends, it’s easy to hear God’s Voice Today.

Hearing God’s Voice Today

Doubting Thomas

The day that Doubting Thomas met Jesus

Daily Spirit & Word, 504: Doubting Thomas.

The Difference Between Honest Doubts and Stubborn Unbelief.

40 Days With Jesus. Day 20: Doubting Thomas.

As our church fellowship goes through 40 Days With Jesus. We’re all considering the Resurrection Appearances of Jesus afresh. Some have been followers of Jesus for many years, but it’s amazing the way that fresh light is being thrown upon the pathway of righteousness. I’m really happy that the Lord is working in so many of our lives today and we’re discovering more about Jesus and ourselves every single day. You know my friends, it’s OK to have honest doubts, as long as we don’t remain stuck in those doubts and that we’re really looking for the answers to our questions. A person stuck in doubt is a person who’s refusing to move. That might be because of fear or even further doubts, what if it’s true, what will that mean for me? We can move through the tunnel of honest doubt today. But there are others who’re like CAVE explorers, the further they go into the cave, the further away they are from the light. Stubborn Unbelief is like that dark cave of doubt that refuses to even consider the evidence or the truth.

John 20:24-31 24  Now Thomas (called Didymus), one of the Twelve, was not with the disciples when Jesus came.
25  So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord!” But he said to them, “Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe it.”
26  A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!”
27  Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.”
28  Thomas said to him, “My Lord and my God!”
29  Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”
30  Jesus did many other miraculous signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book.
31  But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.

I know a man who refused to come to the Lord Jesus, because He thought he wasn’t ready for a HOLY life, you know the life that means you get all boring and can’t do this or can’t do that… It’s really funny, but Christians have been better known for what they don’t do, rather than what they actually do. Thankfully the tide is turning and because of the recent Government Austerity measures and the way that Conservative and Lib-Dem policy has made if much more difficult for the poorest people in the whole of the United Kingdom and those who’ve suffered most during this depression are those who are the most vulnerable. It’s been Christians who’ve come out with a great BIG LIGHT shining all around them and giving GLORY  to God; because they’ve responded to the NEED, they’ve manned FOODBANKS to give people food for free who are experiencing real hardships in life. We must thank God for the Governments Austerity Measures, because it’s enabled us to DEMONSTRATE REAL LOVE IN ACTION. However, we don’t rejoice that it was because of these measures that the poorest have suffered the most. Now we’re beginning to turn the tide of Public impressions of Christians change, from that bad impression of Christians, now we’re becoming famous again for what we do because we LOVE Jesus. i.e. It’s by our LOVE for others that Christians are once again being seen as expressing true faith, others are seeing that we are Christ’s disciples because of what we do in loving response to people’s needs.

Honest Doubt is like a long road tunnel, but your driving through and headed for the light.

Thomas, was not there in the Upper-Room when Jesus appeared the first time. However, a week later and Thomas was there with the others. But that leaves me with a question that I’m looking for answers to today:  “Was Thomas’ statement, “I refuse to believe, unless I see the nail-marks in His hands” was this STUBBORN UNBELIEF? Or was Thomas’ statement simply expressing openly his HONEST DOUBT?

STUBBORN UNBELIEF: is like a deep dark cave, the deeper you do, the further away from the light you get. Great is that darkness of stubborn unbelief.

On the surface it’s hard to answer that question, it would seem a clear case of stubborn unbelief or refusal to believe, but as we look deeper and follow Thomas’ life in the Bible, and get to know the man a little bit more, we’ll begin to see an honest, openhearted and questioning kind of a character. For example just about a week before Jesus died, we see Thomas and Jesus again, recorded by John in his Gospel, John 14.

John 14:1-7 1  “Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me.
2  In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you.
3  And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.
4  You know the way to the place where I am going.”
5  Thomas said to him, “Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way?”
6  Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No-one comes to the Father except through me.
7  If you really knew me, you would know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him.”

This is another of those famous passages that have been read out at countless hundreds of thousands of funerals; funerals of both Christians and Non-Christians, because it’s in the Church of England Funeral Book and as Ministers of a Parish, we’re required by law to conduct funerals for everyone, regardless of their faith, if they desire a Minister, we’re duty bound to attend to them. So I’ve taken many hundreds of funerals myself for people who’ve said they didn’t believe. But I’ve read out this, one of the most exclusive statements our Lord Jesus ever made at those funerals of unbelievers. We’ve just got to hold out the lantern of faith in the darkest of caves.

Thomas was HONEST and OPEN and quickly asked Jesus for clarification when He didn’t know something. You know my friends, because of Thomas, we’ve been given one of the Brightest Statements contained within the Bible. It’s that statement where Jesus is telling us all in no uncertain terms, that there is NO OTHER WAY for human beings to enter in to Heaven, other than through faith and trust in HIM alone. We can’t get there because of our own goodness or our own good deeds or good works, because that still leaves us stained with sin. Jesus quite rightly expresses to Thomas’ honest question; “We don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way?” and he gets the most beautiful and brilliantly dazzling light filled answers in the whole Bible; “I AM THE WAY, THE TRUTH AND THE LIFE”. In other words;

  • If we want to know the way to Heaven, we must come to Jesus.
  • If we want to know the TRUTH about God and Heaven, we must come to Jesus.
  • If we want to know how to get ETERNAL LIFE, then we must come to Jesus.

Why? Because He reveals: “I AM THE ONLY WAY TO THE FATHER”, “YOU MUST COME THROUGH ME”.

Now we can just dismiss this claim as the rantings of a mad-man or Jesus was just a simple deluded man or Jesus was telling us the TRUTH. An Honest Doubter, is like someone going through a long road tunnel, they know that the further they are going, they are getting closer to the light, but a person who is in STUBBORN UNBELIEF, wants to remain in that condition of darkness, they’re like someone who’s going into a deep dark CAVE, they are getting further and further into the darkness and going away from the source of light with each step they take.

My friends, are you headed for the light? At the end of your honest doubts and sincere questions are you desiring to know the way, the truth and the life? That’s the most important question you’ll ever ask yourself in life.

If you are in STUBBORN UNBELIEF, I want to encourage you today, there is still HOPE, because I’ve known sinful, stubborn unbelievers who’ve hated the light and hates me coming to them to talk about Jesus, because each time I did, I brought the light into their dark lives. They were happy, trying to hide in the cave of unbelief, but each time I appeared, it was as if I was carrying that brightest of lights in the deepest darkness, it’s a blinding light to those who are in stubborn unbelief. But we must, must, must, must continue to keep it shining. For when we do we’re bringing the light of the Resurrected Lord Jesus Christ into the darkness of someone’s life.

You don’t know why they are in or want to remain in STUBBORN UNBELIEF, why they won’t or refuse to even consider the evidence, openly and honestly. You don’t know why, but the LORD does and He is the one who is best equipped to bring them out of the dankness where they are hiding, into His marvellous, glorious and beautiful light. Where they will find, life and joy and peace and happiness. Why are they hiding? Perhaps the last half of John 3 will give us a clue. The Bible always has the answer somewhere 🙂 People are hiding in their dark caves of stubborn unbelief because of sin in their lives, they are refusing to come out into the light. They LOVE the darkness the Bible tells us. God has shown us the answer my friends, but it’s not always so simple as that, because each person is different.

What a brilliant passage in the Bible, I’m so glad the the Apostle John, at the direction of the Holy Spirit, kept DOUBTING THOMAS in the story of Jesus resurrection encounters. Because if they hadn’t then we’d probably be a lot more harsh and critical of people who have Honest Doubts and sincere questions regarding the faith once delivered to the saints. Don’t be afraid of people who are expressing their sincere doubts, because Jesus can very easily deal with them, they are in a tunnel that is headed for the light. However, don’t even be afraid of people who are in STUBBORN UNBELIEF, because, if Jesus doesn’t come back in the mean-time, you’ll have ample opportunity to share the LIGHT with them again. You’ll be SALT in their wounds of Unbelief. We know that salt stings open wounds and so it does those who are in stubborn unbelief, but it also know that salt has a curative effect; SALT is good. So keep being Salt and Light for those in any kind of darkness my friends.

Conclusion: It’s wonderful that Thomas’ Doubt is in the Bible. Because of Doubting Thomas, we’ve got some wonderful proofs of Jesus RESURRECTION and Divinity. Thomas said, “My LORD and My God”… He saw, touch and believed. Jesus said, that those who believe in Him afterwards would be blessed. My friends, we ARE blessed too, because Jesus will come into your life in just a real a way as He did with Thomas, so that you will not linger in doubt, but you’ll see the light at the end of the tunnel of sincere and honest doubt that is looking for the answers. Jesus is still “THE WAY, THE TRUTH and THE LIFE”… He always will be, so come into the light, stop doubting and believe.

We can also see that what a person says, doesn’t necessarily mean that’s what they are like deep down inside. We’d probably assume, if we didn’t have more about Thomas in the Bible that he was a Stubborn Unbeliever, but we know that he wasn’t like that, because of what the Bible tells us about him. However, we don’t know other people’s live or why they say what they do. Something terrible may have happened, that makes them NOT WANT to believe that there is a God or a Jesus that came back from death to life. They may have lost a precious loved one as my friends, ROSA, Read how she Encounters Jesus Kingdom did (you must read her story of her encounter with the risen Jesus and His Kingdom Power). But STUBBORN UNBELIEF is a sin, because it’s a refusal to come into the light or to even consider the truth.

Doubting Thomas
Doubting Thomas

My friends, those of you who have trust Jesus, YOU ARE THE SALT OF THE EARTH AND THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD. When you trusted Jesus, you came into the light and now you ARE light for those in the darkness of unbelief, your the torchlight for those who have honest doubts, you are the light that shines up the pathway towards faith and trust in Jesus Christ. Keep going my friends. Don’t be afraid to break into the dark caves where you’ll find those who are hiding from the Light, who are refusing to even consider the questions and the doubt, they are in Stubborn Unbelief, but there is always HOPE for them my friends, carry the light of Jesus into their lives today. Let your light shine up and perhaps they’ll see that the darkness of the cave is not a nice as the brightness and beauty we’ll see when we come out into the light of Jesus Christ.

I hope you’ve been able to see today the difference between honest doubt and stubborn unbelief. One is looking for evidence and answers to their questions, the other is refusing to come into the light. Only God really knows, but we must just continue to be obedient and be SALT and LIGHT to both.

Have an AWESOME Bank Holiday MONDAY.

Don.

P.S. Even though it’s BANK HOLIDAY Monday, I’m still going to be at the Prayer Meeting in Church tonight at 7.00pm for Fellowship, we’ll begin praying at 7.30pm. If you are free you are welcome to come along and join with me. Don.

 

 

 

 

 

The Light Overcomes The Darkness

Daily Spirit & Word, 487: The Light Overcomes The Darkness.

40 Days With Jesus: Day 2.

 

Good morning my friends, our first meeting of 40 Days With Jesus was last night and it was amazing. God was showing us through those who came and testified that there are indeed many different ways to come out of the darkness and into His marvellous light. Each of us shared our Spiritual journey and how we came to be where we are today. It was good because most admitted they knew about Jesus, but wanted to go a bit deeper with Him. This little course will enable anyone to do that and we’ll all experience new light in our lives by coming to the Lord on purpose.

Some shared their experiences of recent hardships and in coming to Jesus holding onto the hope that there really is some little chink of light at the end of the dark tunnel. The trials we go through can vary in degree of hardship and duration. They can vary in nature too; some shared last night about relational conflict (how we can forgive), some ill-health, some financial pressures. When we’re going through troubled times it can sometimes seem that there’s no hope at all. Just recently we’ve met a few people who’ve actually contemplated suicide.

 John 20:1 “Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene went to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the entrance.”

When John tells us that Mary went to the tomb of Jesus on that first Sunday morning, there’s much more the the DARKNESS than the fact that it was just before dawn. He’s indicating that evil seemed to have triumphed, that darkness had overcome the light. However, even before Mary reaches the tomb, the LIGHT of the dawn had approached and the stone had already been rolled away from the tomb allowing the light to flood into the inner darkness.

In John 20:1-18, that we read yesterday, I think I read it through about six times, but I’m going to be reading it every day this week, we seen in this portion of God’s Word an indication of a theme that’s woven throughout John’s Gospel: Light & Darkness. Darkness representing the kingdom of evil and Light representing the Kingdom of good.

Many movies have this theme running through them; Star Wars, Superman, Batman, X-Men, etc… Even the good old Westerns with the good and bad. I’ll never forget that Clint Eastwood introduced a third term “The Good, The Bad and the Ugly” 🙂

In Star Wars the battle is the forces of good combating the forces of evil, represented by the Dark Side of the Force. So John’s Gospel is interwoven with this theme of LIGHT representing Good and God; and DARKNESS representing Evil and Satan.

Let’s just briefly take a look a how John does this:

In the beginning of his Gospel John introduces us to this theme immediately:

John 1:5 (NIV) “The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it.”

John 1:9 (NIV) “The true light that gives light to every man was coming into the world.”

We know from the context that the LIGHT is the LORD Jesus. Mary would have been devastated that the LIGHT that delivered her from the darkness of evil oppression and possession was now dead and gone. She’d witnessed his cruel death upon the cross and was grieving so much. Perhaps there was a deep-seated fear that now that Jesus was gone, she’d once again become prey to the darkness of evil and demons, that she’d be plunged into the darkness all over again.

Also in John’s Gospel we see the theme again, John 3:19-21 “This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. 20  Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. 21  But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what he has done has been done through God.”

We see here some awesome truths concerning the darkness of evil and the brilliance of the pure light of God. Sin keeps us away from the LIGHT, because we’re afraid when we sin. Remember Adam running and hiding in the Garden of Eden when He first sinned against God. Sin will keep you away from God and plunge you into the deepest darkness.

John 8:12  When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”

So when Mary arrived at the tomb it must have seemed to her that the DARK SIDE had been victorious; evil deeds, evil forces and evil people had seemingly triumphed over the light of the Lord Jesus. However, nothing could be further from the truth as Mary was about to experience when she finally met the risen Lord Jesus. Her darkness of night was about to explode with the brilliance of the first new day of the RESURRECTION of the Lord Jesus.

My friends, in coming to Jesus, we’re also brought from Darkness into His marvellous Light. We’ll experience a new hope within our being and like Mary our griefs and feelings of despair from our trials and tests will turn to the deepest joy. Jesus is with everyone who trust in Him until the end of the age. That’s HIS promise, let’s grab hold of it today and be encouraged by believing and trusting that these trials are momentary and soon we’ll be delivered from the darkness to triumphant light of God’s glory.

My friends, when Mary Magdalene reached the tomb of Jesus, all must have appeared darkness and gloom, but the LIGHT burst forth into her life when she met the risen Saviour. You can experience that same JOY today.

 Points to Ponder:

  • Can you think of moments in your own life when you were delivered from darkness into the light? What were the events leading up to this point? Take some time to thank God for His grace and mercy towards you during those times.
  • Are there any areas in your life where you know that you are still living in the darkness?
  • Are there any places in your life where the light is on but it’s dim? How would your life change if you began to walk fully in the light of Jesus in these areas?

 Prayer

Lord Jesus, I believe that You are the Light of the world and I take hold of the promise that I never have to walk in the darkness when I am following You (John 8:12). Thank you for calling me out of the darkness into Your wonderful Light (1 Peter 2:9). I reject any lie that may try to convince me that my breakthrough is not possible or will not be long-lasting. Freedom from sin and darkness is mine through You Lord Jesus Christ. I know that Your Word is a lamp for my feet and a light on my paths (Psalm 119:105). Lord Jesus, please direct my steps and show me how to walk in the light. Lead me into the freedom you won for me on the Cross and keep me there Lord. Amen.

40 Days With Jesus: Day 2 The Light Overcomes The Darkness.

Come back tomorrow for Day 3.

40 Days Home Page: Don’t forget you can watch the Video anytime you like during the week. I’ve watched it a few times now.

 

 

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.

 

Jesus said, “I AM the Light of the World”

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Daily Spirit & Word. 138: Jesus said, “I AM the Light of the Word”.

“He who follows me will never walk in darkness” John 8:12.

Good morning my friends, what an absolutely glorious day yesterday; The SON was Shining; first at Dulwich Park with our grandchildren, sliding, climbing, swinging and ice-creams, then in the evening with one of our Old folks from St Luke’s Church, Sybil was celebrating her 90th Birthday with family and friends, I was invited to speak and open the evening in prayer. Sybil knows her Bible, and whenever I read with her, she mouths the verses along with me (I’ve got to read from the King James Version though). She’s got the light of Jesus in her and I always come away from her home more encouraged, blessed and strengthened in my own faith walk with Jesus. Oh my friends, how we need old saints who love the Lord.

Today we’re thinking again about Jesus and how He’s revealed to us by the Apostle John; we’re thinking about Chapter 8 where Jesus is revealing how He is the Light of the World. We’ll be discovering how that applies to us today and how much we need the light;

In John 8:12 we see that Jesus made; A GREAT CLAIM and A GREAT PROMISE.

John 8:12 (NIV) When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”

Introduction: Every human has a great need. However, they are not always aware of it, but the need is still there. Human beings are walking in the darkness. How?

⇒  Mankind cannot see into the future nor into the next world.

⇒  Mankind cannot see God, who He is and what He is like.

⇒  Mankind cannot see the real meaning, significance, and purpose of life.

⇒  Mankind cannot grasp perfect knowledge nor assurance of eternal life.

Therefore, man’s greatest need is to see “the Light of the world.”

Thankfully, the Greatest Need of Mankind is met by Discovering that Jesus Christ IS the LIGHT of the WORLD. Because when that need is met we get the awesome promises of God embedded into the depths of our souls; “We’ll never walk in darkness, and we will have the light of life.

Many old hymns have been written about the experience of OLD SAINTS who’ve suddenly come from the ‘Darkness into the LIGHT of Christ’. (See end of today’s message).

We also have many more hymns; of the experience of Living in the Light and Not walking in Darkness.

To see what life is like in the Light, we first need to peer into the Darkness, to see what life is like in the Darkness.

A Dire WARNING: In almost every chapter of John there are many revelations about who Jesus is and why he had come into the world, but equally there are also many promises in those chapters that encourage and strengthen our faith walk with Jesus. Crucially, there are also dire warnings in every chapter and John Chapter 8 has a warning for us too; listen now;

John 8:23-24 (NIV) But he continued, “You are from below; I am from above. You are of this world; I am not of this world.

24  I told you that you would die in your sins; if you do not believe that I am the one I claim to be, you will indeed die in your sins.”

Jesus said, “I AM the light of the World” The Revelation.

Jesus said, “You will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life” The Promise.

Jesus said, “If you do not believe in ME, you will indeed die in your sins” The Warning.

Man’s Greatest Need:

Is to discover that he’s in DARKNESS and NEEDS the LIGHT of the WORLD (Jesus Christ).

Man’s Greatest DANGER:

“To die in your sins”….

Satan’s Greatest Deception:

If we were to die in our sins, we would be going to the Judgement Day like this; Everybody that I’ve ever met, who’s in the Darkness, thinks they are ‘good enough’ to get into heaven. (That’s Satan’s most brilliant deception). They’ve been convinced first, that God is ‘good’ and ‘loving’ and ‘kind’. He’ll never send anyone to Hell, because a God of LOVE would never do anything as evil as sending someone to Hell, right? No my friends, Satan has deceived you and most of mankind into believing that God will not do that.

We’re going to Judgement Day: To appear before the Lord Jesus Christ (He’s the Judge); What are we trusting that will enable us to get into heaven on that day?

Our own Idolatrous God (one we’ve made that suits ourselves), He’ll not send us to hell. That’s a fiction, false notion and false foolish belief system.

Our own Goodness: Most people believe they are not that bad, that they’ve not done that much wrong, that they are good enough to get into heaven.

Our own Good Works: Most people on earth today believe that their ‘good deeds’ will earn them a place in Heaven. “Oh yes, I’ve done wrong, I’ve broken God’s commandments, but I’ve also done a lot of ‘good’ things too, surely God will look at my life and see that I’ve done far more good than evil” That’s what people in Darkness say and that’s what they believe.

No wonder Jesus gave us such a dire WARNING; “If you don’t believe in me, you will indeed die in your sins”… People in Darkness rely on themselves and false notions of God’s goodness, they don’t think that their sins are that bad, so they are prepared to risk it, prepared to go to God with their sins still on them, and justify themselves and plead their cause themselves.

It’s like going into the Highest Court in the Land and saying, “I don’t need a QC (Queen’s Council Lawyer / Advocate) I’ll represent myself”. How Foolish, the Prosecution would tear you to pieces.

We are all going into the Courtroom of Heaven one Day; We’ll stand charged with breaking God’s Moral LAWS and we’ll all be GUILTY even before we speak, because we’ve all broken God’s eternal LAWS (The Ten Commandments).

When Jesus said, “You will indeed die in your sins”, that’s what we will be doing. Self-Representation before a Holy and Righteous God. We’ll have the most brilliant Prosecution Council ever: They know we’re guilty and can prove it beyond a shadow of a doubt. We’ve ALL Broken God’s Holy Law. (Lying, stealing, cheating, coveting, lust (adultery), not keeping the Sabbath Holy, making a God to suit ourselves (Idolatry), not living God first and with all our heart.).

That’s what it’s like to live and walk in the Darkness. We’re fooled into thinking we’re OK. We’ll be judged by a holy and righteous God. What’s it like walking in the light?

The People Walking in the Light:

Isaiah 9:2-3 (NIV) “The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned. 3  You have enlarged the nation and increased their joy; they rejoice before you as people rejoice at the harvest, as men rejoice when dividing the plunder.”

However, those people who’ve come into the light of Christ, who’ve believed, trusted and received Jesus Christ, are not walking in that Darkness anymore, they have been enlightened. They’ve seen that they are indeed sinners, they’ve broken God’s moral laws and deserve to die, they deserve God’s punishment for all their sins = Hell forever, but they’ve TRUSTED that Jesus Christ died upon the CROSS for their sins, they can now see much more clearly than ever before, their need for Jesus Christ. They now know that wonderful promise of Jesus; “You shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life”… They’ve got the light of life, they are living daily in that light and following Jesus Christ.

When people who’ve believed that Jesus is the LIGHT of the World appear before the Judgement seat of Christ, they know they’ll have not a QC but a KC… They’ll have the King himself as their own personal counsellor, they’ve already passed from Judgement into LIFE. They’ve been Judged already, because they’ve Accepted Jesus words, they know and believe that He is the Light of the World. They will never walk in darkness again, not for all eternity. They’ll be in the LIGHT of HEAVEN.

The only things they’ll be appearing at the Judgement Seat of Christ for are not for Judgement for Salvation; but for Promises of Rewards in Heaven. He’ll look at our walk since we’ve trusted in Him, and He’ll either reward us greatly in Heaven for all eternity or we’ll suffer some loss, but we’ll still be in Heaven. (How have you been investing in Heaven? Have you been storing up treasures here on Earth or are you investing in your Eternal Destiny?).

Oh how Glorious to be in the Light of Christ: We’ll know why were here in earth, we’ll discover our purpose in life, we’ll know what’s on the other side of this life on earth = Heaven forever. We’ll discover what life is all about when we’ve got Jesus, the Light of the World living on the inside of us. Have you got the LIGHT of the WORLD yet? Is He in you? Are you walking in the Light?

Mankind’s Greatest Need:

Is to see the light of Christ and to walk in the light. Is only met when we wake them up in the Darkness.

How can we do that?

If you saw a BLIND Man walking towards the edge of the cliff top at Beachy Head, would you sit there on the grass enjoying your picnic with the family and just let him slowly walk to his certain death? NO! Would you just sit a back and chomp on another sandwich and drink your juice as he slowly stumbled close to the edge? NO! Would you shout out to him; “Blind man, your heading towards a cliff edge” No! You get up, you’d throw your sandwich down, you run up to him and grab him and warn him, you shake him up in order to save his life.

My friends, countless millions of people are like that poor blind man, walking in darkness, walking towards certain death, they are all going to die in their sins, they are going to the judgement of Christ and they are going to go to Hell, because of their sins. Will we just sit back and enjoy the fact that we’re saved, that we’re OK that we’re going to Heaven? NO! If there is any compassion in us at all, we’ll be moved to shake them up, to open their blind eyes and let them see the light of Jesus Christ.

How, How can we open the eyes of people born in Darkness?

It’s the Gospel of Jesus Christ that can open their eyes and let them see the light.

But Satan had done a great job, he’s blinded the eyes of people, so that they can’t see:

2 Corinthians 4:4 (NIV) “The god of this age 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.”

Jesus IS; ‘The LIGHT of the WORLD’ but the world cannot see the LIGHT because they’ve been blinded, blinded from birth, they are in total darkness and headed for a great fall. They need to be stopped in their tracks.

As you share the GOSPEL, it’s the Good News of Jesus Christ; listen now; Romans 1:16 (NIV) “I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile.”

It’s the Gospel that IS the POWER of God to Salvation: People walking in DARKNESS can have their eyes opened, they can see the light of life, that Jesus Christ is the Light of the World, when we SHARE the GOSPEL with them.

Their GREATEST NEED can be met when you share the GOSPEL.

How do we do that?

Firstly, those of us who’ve seen the light, who’re walking in the light, must let the LIGHT shine in the darkness.

Matthew 5:14-16 (NIV)

14  “You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden.

15  Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house.

16  In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.

You’ve believed and trusted that Jesus Christ IS the Light of the World. You are not walking in the Darkness anymore, you have the light of life, so now you must ; “Let the light that is in you shine.” Jesus is in YOU, let Him shine His light on the lives of others who’re walking in Darkness. How? by your good deeds.

Secondly, Share the Gospel, the Good News of Jesus Christ; How he lived, how he died, why he died, how He’s come back from the dead and is now in Heaven, How he’s coming back one day to Judge all mankind. How people need to be SAVED by Jesus Christ. What His death upon the Cross was for; for our sins. How we can have all our sins washed away. How we can pass from Darkness into the Light, by trusting in Jesus, by receiving Jesus, by believing in Jesus Christ; THE LIGHT of the WORLD.

In that way, you’ll be shaking the blind man walking to certain death over the cliff edge of death and dying in their sins.

Conclusion:

I’d like to end by reviewing this sermon today;

People’s Greatest NEED is to see the LIGHT (Jesus IS the LIGHT of the World). Revelation.

God’s Greatest Promises: “You will not walk in DARKNESS, but will have the LIGHT of LIFE.”

God’s Greatest and MOST DIRE Warning: If people don’t accept the LIGHT they’ll die in their sins and face the judgement.

God’s Greatest Challenge: “Let your LIGHT Shine” “Share the GOSPEL”.

My friends, have you;

believed that Jesus is THE LIGHT of the WORLD?

are you walking in His Light right now?

Will you let your light shine and will you share the Gospel?

People are blind, heading for eternity still in their sins, have compassion and open their eyes. Amen.

God bless and keep you walking in the light, when you find you’ve been wandering in the darkness, repent and seek His forgiveness and continue in His light again. Let the light shine today and share His Good NEWS of the GOSPEL with those He puts across your path. They need to be snatched from the flames of Hell.

Don.

Two Hymns that can really help us focus upon this teaching of Jesus being; The Light of the Word.

Worship:

Two Hymns that can really help us focus upon this teaching today:

An Army of Ordinary People: by Dave Bilbrough.

Light of the World (Here I am to worship) by Tim Hughes.

Daily Word and Spirit can also be read at St Luke’s Church Facebook Page.[/fusion_text][three_fourth last=”yes” spacing=”yes” background_color=”” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” background_position=”left top” border_size=”0px” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” padding=”” class=”” id=””][/three_fourth][flip_boxes columns=”3″ class=”” id=””][flip_box title_front=”Jesus is the Light of the Word” title_back=”Follow HIM” text_front=””I AM The Light of the Word”” background_color_front=”” title_front_color=”” text_front_color=”” background_color_back=”” title_back_color=”” text_back_color=”” border_size=”1px” border_color=”” border_radius=”4px” icon=”” icon_color=”” circle=”yes” circle_color=”” circle_border_color=”” icon_flip=”” icon_rotate=”” icon_spin=”yes” image=”” image_width=”35″ image_height=”35″ animation_type=”0″ animation_direction=”down” animation_speed=”1″]Whoever follows me shall never walk in darkness.[/flip_box][/flip_boxes]