A little bit of faith goes a long way

Jesus is only a prayer away.

Daily Spirit & Word: 793: A Little Bit Of Faith Goes A Long Way.

ALL THE WAY TO HEAVEN

Psalm 139:13-14 (NIV)
13  For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. 14  I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.

Good morning my friends, over the last few days my family has been through a bit of a wringer. My son Joe’s little baby girl Millie, who is just four weeks old, suddenly took ill. Laura (his wife) took her to the Doctor who immediately called for an ambulance to take her to hospital. We got a call almost immediately in London, Joe was in tears asking us to pray for Millie. My son is a big tough Royal Marine, he’s served in Afghanistan and been shot at by the Taliban, but when his daughter was at death’s door he wept bitterly. Joe cried his eyes out in front of everyone in the hospital. Millie was rushed into the intensive care unit at Derriford Hospital in Plymouth, but when they could not stabilise Millie, they called for the specialist unit at Bristol. Another ambulance was sent down with a trained specialist unit and cot with hundreds of wires and tubes. Millie was sedated and another rush ensued. However, just before they departed from Derriford Hospital in Plymouth, Julie and I arrived just after 4.00am. It was just in time to pray before Millie was whisked away to Bristol Children’s Hospital and the PICU (Paediatric Intensive Care Unit).

I shared with some groups on WATSAPP what was happening and got some of our Prayer Group to Pray (And many from our Church and Christian friends and family).  What a wonderful family the LORD has given to us. Thanks so much for all your wonderful words of comfort and prayers. You will never know fully this side of Heaven what that means to us and to the LORD!

Julie, my wife, stayed in Plymouth to look after their other three children, whilst I went to Bristol with Joe in his car, because only one parent could travel in the ambulance with the baby. Of course Laura couldn’t let Millie out of her sight. By the time Joe and I arrived the baby was in the PICU all wired-up and looking so vulnerable. I’ll tell you, you can’t look at a little baby in PICU (Paediatric Intensive Care Unit) and not feel how fragile life is. That room was filled with babies in all sorts of conditions and so many nurses and doctors and parents with sad and serious faces. Little Millie’s life was hanging by a thin thread. She looked so small, so vulnerable and fragile.

“DID HE KNOCK THE WIRE?”

The nurse was lovely, she explained about all the tubes and what they were doing, the wires and what they were monitoring. One little line was her oxygen levels, and it was a green trace on the screen. Every time Millie took a breath for herself, the line turned a little bit red. There were very few red bits in the trace. So I put one finger on her tiny chest and prayed, “Lord Jesus, give little Millie the breath of life, let Millie’s life return to her body. In Your Name I pray Lord Jesus Christ. Amen!”… Immediately, the trace turned from green to red. Laura asked the nurse, “Did he knock the wire?” No, there were no wires where I touched Millie. We all looked at each other and just smiled. I knew it was the LORD.

From that moment on, Millie slowly began to recover. There were moments when things took a turn for the worse. We got shocked again when we heard they were going to sedate her. She stopped breathing, had mini-strokes, but slowly Millie began to get better. She’s now been returned to Derriford Hospital in Plymouth to continue her recovery with Laura and Joe at her side. I’ve just returned to London. Julie stayed on with Joe and Laura for a few more days till things settled down and they don’t feel they need her any-more. Millie was finally diagnosed with viral meningitis.

I want to praise my wife Julie: Because she won’t do it herself. She’s a real ROCK in times of trouble. Ready at a moments notice to rush to her children’s side. Whenever they call, she’s there in a moment without hesitation. Not only that, but she’s practical too, helping to take care of the Grandchildren and slowly make the whole house ready for Millie’s return. Abigail our other daughter in Plymouth, came around to help too and both of them were looking after the kids, washing, cleaning and ironing so that Joe and Laura will return to a gleaming palace, with little to bother them so they can relax and just look after little Millie. That’s my Julie 🙂

It’s amazing what God can do.

Every life is so precious to Him. Our friends and family were all marvellous. One verse stuck in my mind the whole time; from Psalm 139:13-14, about how fearfully and wonderfully we are all formed by the LORD. Even the Doctors were stumped to know what was wrong with Millie initially. They just didn’t know what went wrong with her little body. It’s such a frightening experience. All the tests they carried out came back negative. So they took some more, a lumber-punch.  They thought it was Meningitis, Strep B or some other virus, but they couldn’t be sure.

However, we know, those who LOVE Jesus, that God KNOWS EVERYTHING. It was He who formed Millie’s body, He who put her heartbeat into her little chest, He who put breath into her nostrils. Oh my friends, those Doctors and Nurses were marvellous, they did care, they tried their best, they worked so hard to bring Millie back, we can’t fault their dedication. Some even stayed beyond their shift many hours to give their time and skill, but in the end, when all is said and done, our life hangs by a thin thread and ONLY GOD can give life, because His Word tells us; “The LORD gives and the LORD takes away”… Praise Him, because He chose this time not to take away.

We’ve had so many wonderful Christian friends, who’ve lost infants, some who’ve lost their babies in the womb and others, like Millie, who’ve experienced a wonderful miracle of recovery. We don’t know God’s plans for every life, but my friends, we’ve simply got to trust Him. It’s the hardest thing to do, when someone we love is going through it, but it’s the only thing we can do.

If it were not for the Doctors and Nurses, I’m sure Millie wouldn’t be here now or if Laura had neglected to take her to the Doctor when she did. Thank the LORD for Mother’s Instinct: she knew in her heart something was seriously wrong with her little baby girl and did the right thing. The Doctor immediately recognised something was seriously wrong and the staff at the hospital reacted immediately. Praise the LORD for the National Health Service (NHS), they were there when we needed them most. However, Joe, my son knew, he needed to call in the BIG GUNS: The LORD the Giver of Life. Joe prayed and cried to the LORD.

PANIC STATIONS, PANIC STATIONS:

In the Navy we had a term for when we needed to be ready for action at all times. A broadcast would be made; “ACTION STATIONS, ACTION STATIONS”. Everyone would then rush to their place of duty during action with an enemy. However, sometimes, some men just panicked. Some lost their heads during action stations. So we used to say instead, “Panic Stations, Panic Stations”… It’s Navy humour at it’s best. 🙂

But seriously friends  when the proverbial hits the fan, there is no need to PANIC, because the LORD knows all things. He’s in control of this ship called CREATION, because He made it all. He’s at the wheel and our Captain knows what’s coming before it ever hits us. So when trouble comes trust the Captain of your soul.

A Smouldering Wick & A Storm:

A strong wind blows out a candle, but no matter how strong the wind, a little ember keeps burning in the wick. God’s Word tells us; “A smouldering wick I will not snuff out”… In other words, a little bit of faith goes a long way. When the winds of trouble hit your life, keep trusting Jesus in the storm. Cry out to Him and He will lift you up. We all get that sinking feeling in the storm, just as Peter did, but turn your eyes again to Jesus and cry to Him. He WILL LIFE YOU UP AGAIN. You, will be able to walk through the storms holding onto the hands of Jesus Christ.

Matthew 12:20-21 (NIV) Smouldering Wick.
20  A bruised reed he will not break, and a smouldering wick he will not snuff out, till he leads justice to victory.
21  In his name the nations will put their hope.”

Matthew 14:30-31 (NIV)
30  But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!”
31  Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?”

My friends, when the storms or winds of trouble come to try and sink you or snuff out your faith, don’t look at the storm, the wind or the trouble, look to Jesus Christ. He is the Author and Perfecter of your FAITH. Faith itself is a gift from Him to you and if you are lacking He can re-supply your need.

The Carpenter From Wales:

I was sitting in the parents waiting room of the Bristol PICU (Paediatric Intensive Care Unit) at Bristol Royal Children’s Hospital. Joe and Laura were in with Millie, so I was in there having a cup of tea. A young man walked into the room, he was a Carpenter from Wales. Their little girl had undergone a heart operation and was about to have her chest closed-up. We’d been chatting a few times. He knew my son Joe was a Royal Marine, and that I’d been a Submariner, but he didn’t know that I was a Minister in the Church of England. I’d asked him all about his life, so he said to me, “What is it that you do now that you’ve left the Royal Navy?” I said, “I’m a minister who serves the Lord Jesus in the Church of England”. There was no response, just silence. His face went RED. I’ve never seen a response like that before. So I asked him, “Do you have a faith background?”. He cleared his throat and said, “I used to go to the Salvation Army when I was a boy, but they tried to force it on me, they were too pushy, so I left at a young age.” He explained that Rugby Football was more appealing than attending the Salvation Army.  I asked him, “And what about now, do you believe now?” He said, “A little bit” I said to him, “You know something, a little bit of faith goes a long way. All the way to Heaven”

I reminded him of a story he knew well. “A smouldering wick, He will not snuff out”… If our faith is all but blown-out by the storms of this life, then God’s just waiting to bring it back into a blazing flame again. I assured him of our prayers. Before I left he returned with the good news, they’d closed his little girl’s chest and she was settling down into recovery.

These last few days have been a tremendous test for many people that we know and love. We’ll all go through times of testing, trials and tribulations and temptations. We jokingly call it the 3Ts. (Trials, Tribulations and Temptations). However, my friends, if you’ve put your faith and trust in Jesus Christ, He proves faithful ALWAYS  even in the storm that you are walking through. We do not always get the answers to the prayers the way that we want. But like Peter in the storm, all you can do is; Cry, cry, cry; cry out to Jesus. Weep, weep and weep for what you could loose or have lost. Life is so precious, one moment we’re here and the next is ETERNITY.

You know something, Laura (my daughter-in-law) said something to me. She said, “When we’re going through something like this, it really brings into sharp focus what’s really important in life”. It really does my friends. Children are so precious, work, money, jobs, homes, clothing, etc… even food… but nothing is more important than your LIFE. However, there is one thing much more important than your life down here on this earth; Eternity. Where will we be spending eternity when this life is over? This is much more important than the here and now. God is only a prayer away. He’s waiting for you to turn to Him. He’s longing for you to cry out to Him. He’s a Father who’s waiting to hear your heart’s cry. You might be bitterly disappointed with the way things have turned out. You’d never choose the situation you are in right now, but God’s ways are not our ways. He might just be using this storm to bring you back to Him.

Of course there’s something we need to do: Humble yourself and pray. Return to the Lord. Repent of Sin. Receive the Lord Jesus Christ as both Saviour and Lord.

Then your Eternity will be secured forever. You will have a HOPE in your heart, that no matter what storm might come your way.  You will know the Captain and where you are eventually going to be, so TRUST Him.

2 Chronicles 7:13-15 (NIV) REPENTANCE, RETURN, REVIVAL. 

13  “When I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or command locusts to devour the land or send a plague among my people, 14  if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land. 15  Now my eyes will be open and my ears attentive to the prayers offered in this place.

I’ve been praying for all my family and friends to come to a living and active faith and trust in the Lord Jesus Christ. The battle for their souls is raging. Satan doesn’t want to let them go. He’s blinded some of their eyes so they can’t see the truth of the glorious Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. (2 Cor 4:4). Oh LORD, OPEN their eyes and let them see Jesus for who He is: LORD OF ALL. Amen!

Storms come our way, sometimes, it’s a TEST. Sometimes the LORD allows it to shake us to the core of our being, to get our attention, to open our eyes, to let us see and to get us to ask that question, “What is the most important thing in life?”… LIFE… DEATH … ETERNITY… HEAVEN … HELL???? We all love our lives down here. We all love our precious things; but what’s more important than life? Nothing! Jesus came down from Heaven to earth to bring LIFE to everyone who will turn to Him in faith. Not just eternal life, but the abundant life now… Oh my friends, if you’ve never received Jesus Christ by faith, receive Him now.

The Three T’s will come your way: Even after you’ve trusted Jesus; Trials, Tribulations and Temptations. Stay close to Jesus every day.

We’ve all sinned, we’ve all broken God’s Commandments; lying, stealing, lusting (adultery), coveting, hating (murder), disobedient to parents, not putting God first in all things and even creating a god (idolatry) that we are comfortable with. A god that will allow us to sin and get away with it. Everyone needs forgiveness, everyone needs to be cleansed from sin or we can’t go to God’s Holy place called Heaven. Sin needs to be removed from our souls to purify us for heaven. Only the blood of Jesus Christ can wash away our sins. He died, He gave His precious life, on the Cross, so that everyone who trusts in Him can be cleansed, made ready for Heaven and saved. Hell is real and God’s judgement is waiting on the other side of death. If we die with sin still on our souls, then we’ll be spending eternity in Hell with Satan and his demons. God doesn’t want that, that’s why He sent Jesus Christ to save sinners like you and me.

You are being called by Jesus Christ if you are reading this far into my message today: He’s calling you by name; humble yourself, repent of your sin, believe that Jesus died for you, receive Him by faith and be born again of God’s Holy Spirit, then your eternity in Heaven will be secure. Afterwards, read God’s Word, the Bible every day; it’s your daily bread from Heaven. Live the Christian life in the POWER of the Spirit (that’s what being a follower / disciple of Jesus is all about, following and living by the teachings of Jesus), then join with other believers who love the Lord Jesus Christ to worship and serve Him with the rest of your life here on earth. Lead others to trust Jesus Christ too, you’ve been called to be SALT and LIGHT. Let your light so shine before men.

Well, I’m back in London, ready to serve the LORD here. It’s been a horrific and blessed few days in my life, but I’ve seen the hand of the LORD. He’s there in times of emergency my friends, but let’s not wait until an emergency comes. Turn to the LORD in the light, before the darkness descends. If you are going through the darkness my friends, if your wick is just smouldering, turn again to the Lord and let Him kindle it into a roaring flame. He’s alive! He’s alive! My Jesus He is with me, He’s alive.

When trouble comes knocking at the door of your life, trust the Captain of your soul, He sees it before it arrives and knows how to deal with it. Amen!

Have a FANTASTIC Weekend with Jesus.

I’m so looking forward to gathering on Sunday for worship: We’ve got a Thanksgiving for a baby. We’ve got a Wedding Blessing. We’ve got the LORD Jesus Christ.

 

People say, “God’s Not Fair”

God is Good Always

Daily Spirit & Word: 785: “God’s Not Fair”

That’s what some people say, “God’s not just or fair”

Good morning my friends, you’ve probably all heard non-Christians and atheists say, “How can there be a God when there is so much evil, hatred and injustice in this world?” It’s like they are judging God and therefore reason that they don’t need to bother believing in him.

In our verse today, you’ll note that it was a constant complaint of the Israelites about their own God. “God is not fair”

Listen in to what God is saying in response to them:

Ezekiel 18:25-29 (NKJV)
25  “Yet you say, ‘The way of the Lord is not fair.’ Hear now, O house of Israel, is it not My way which is fair, and your ways which are not fair?
26  When a righteous man turns away from his righteousness, commits iniquity, and dies in it, it is because of the iniquity which he has done that he dies.
27  Again, when a wicked man turns away from the wickedness which he committed, and does what is lawful and right, he preserves himself alive.
28  Because he considers and turns away from all the transgressions which he committed, he shall surely live; he shall not die.
29  Yet the house of Israel says, ‘The way of the Lord is not fair.’ O house of Israel, is it not My ways which are fair, and your ways which are not fair?

In the Hebrew in which the Old Testament was written, the actual word for “fair” used in these verses was “unequal” referring to the unequal scales. Scales were used to measure grain and they were balance scales, when they were balanced a trade was fair and sealed, it’s done because we can see the scales are balanced, but what they are accusing God of is using unbalanced or unequal scales.

However, the LORD turns their argument on it’s head and accuses / complains back to the Israelites:

“It’s YOU who are not fair” or “It’s YOU Israelites who are using unbalanced / unequal scales”.

Both God and Israel are complaining in our passage.

The People said, “The way of the Lord is not fair”…

God responds, “Your ways are not fair”…

Who’s right?

This verse is repeated three more times in Ezekiel. It is basically God answering Israel’s complaints and setting the record straight.

Complaint about God. “Yet you say, The way of the Lord is not fair.”

First, it accuses God of being unfair. So the people here are accusing God of being unfair to man, of being unfaithful, untruthful, unjust towards them.

Yet when we look at God’s answer: You’ll note it’s because of the wickedness the Israelites have committed they are suffering.

Do not blame God for all the evil in this world; it is not God’s fault.

Think about Syria, the bombing and destruction, and all those poor people suffering; but when they showed a Christian Minister on the News last night, his church was blown to bit, dust and rubble. Most of the Christians had either been killed or had fled Syria. He remained in the land, but he was not screaming at God or accusing God. All he talked about was PEACE. Christians, Jews and Muslims seemed to get along in Syria for many generations, but now, they are killing the Christians and the Jews, they’ve been driven from the land of Syria or they have been murdered and now the Muslims are bombing each other.

Who’s to blame? It’s NOT GOD!

Sometimes, we do the same things as the Israelites: We may not say it out loud, but we might say it in our attitude or in the ways we serve the Lord.

For example: We know God wants us to live a certain way. We pray and ask God for something. He doesn’t respond as quickly as we’d want Him to. So we drag our feet in our Christian service. We become slack in our worship, praise and adoration of God. Just because He’s not doing things the way we want Him to.

We want God to bless our ways, but He wants us to serve Him always.

Also we cry out to God to bestow financial blessings in our lives, while we are tight and stingy when the offering plate is passed in our gatherings.

One of the ways the LORD has decided to test us is in the way we GIVE: It’s also one of the ways that we can and are encouraged by God to TEST HIM…

My friends, if we are FAIR in the ways we serve the LORD, He will OPEN up Heaven into our lives.

It’s NOT God’s WAYS that are unfair, unjust or unbalanced, but our own.

God doesn’t hate us, He loves us so much, and wants to bless our lives, but; death, destruction, cheating and craftiness are man’s ways; so mankind reaps what he sows.

God Speaking: “Yet the house of Israel says, ‘The way of the Lord is not fair.’ O house of Israel, is it not My ways which are fair, and your ways which are not fair?”

Let’s determine in our heart today, to be the people God wants us to be.

  • He’s revealed in the Bible: “Love your neighbour as yourself”
  • He’s also revealed: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind, soul and strength”…
  • When God looks at your life today, will He see you being fair or unjust? Will He see you being; loving, kind, generous, faithful, gentle, good and self-controlled?

From yesterday’s teaching, we know that these things are the FRUIT of the Holy Spirit in our lives. If you are struggling in any of these areas, then God’s got some resourses He’s longing to pour into your life today: The fruit and gifts of the Holy Spirit.

I’m praying for all my friends today that God will richly bless you in every way.

I’m also praying you’ll be the joy filled servants of the LORD! That You’ll KNOW God is ALWAYS FAIR.

Psalm 145:17-19 (NIV)
17  The LORD is righteous in all his ways and loving towards all he has made.
18  The LORD is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth.
19  He fulfils the desires of those who fear him; he hears their cry and saves them.

God is ONLY A PRAYER AWAY!

Amen!

Don.

Freedom From Fear

Your fears will vanish like the mist they are

Daily Spirit & Word: 779: Freedom From Fear.

Good morning my friends, we had a bit of a scare a few days ago (17th Aug 2016) for about 20 minutes my three year old grandson Karamoko went missing on a very crowded Camber Sands beach. Granny was digging a boat out of the sand with his help, but somehow he wandered away and got lost. Granny panicked, mummy panicked, the people on the beach began to panic. Granny phoned me and asked me to pray. I did of course, immediately, I talked to Father God through Jesus and asked Him to return Karamoko unharmed. A few minutes later I got another call back from a very relieved Julie, “He’s been found”… What do you do in a situation when you get fearful of what might happen?

Jeremiah 38:19 (NIV)  King Zedekiah said to Jeremiah, “I am afraid of the Jews who have gone over to the Babylonians, for the Babylonians may hand me over to them and they will ill-treat me.”

In the book of the Prophet of the Lord, Jeremiah, we read about the capture of Jerusalem by the Babylonians. However, King Zedekiah was more afraid of being mocked and illtreated by his fellow Jews than he was of the mighty Babylonian King and his army. However, there’s yet one more person whom he’s also less afraid of; God.

 Zedekiah’s Fears

“And Zedekiah the king said unto Jeremiah, I am afraid of the Jews that are fallen to the Chaldeans, lest they deliver me into their hand, and they mock me.” (Jeremiah 38:19)

Jeremiah had, through the revealed Word of God, instructed Zedekiah, the king of Judah, to go to the Babylonians and surrender. Our verse tells us Zedekiah’s response. He did not want to do as Jeremiah / the LORD had instructed him. Zedekiah’s response reveals his fears. We note from this verse what he feared and what he didn’t.

What Zedekiah Feared. “I am afraid of the Jews that are fallen to the Chaldeans, lest they deliver me into their hand, and they mock me.” Zedekiah was afraid of men and of mocking. He was afraid of what men might do to him. He feared being harmed by the Israelites who had gone over to the Babylonians. But if you are afraid of what men will do to you or might do to you, then you won’t do very well in doing the will of God.

Zedekiah’s Greatest Fear: Zedekiah especially feared mocking. He had so much pride and did not want to be mocked. He was so afraid somebody would make fun of him for obeying God. Many Christians are no different. They cower before mocking and do not obey God or they might get laughed at by someone. If you are afraid of being laughed at, then you won’t be able to do much for the Kingdom of the LORD, because His ways are always the opposite of the world’s ways. He values what the world doesn’t. Remember that your Lord Jesus experienced lots and lots of mocking and scorning in order to provide Salvation for us. We must not hide our testimony for Jesus just because we’re afraid of a little mocking.

What Zedekiah Did Not FEAR:

Zedekiah did not fear to disobey God. He did not fear the judgment of God. Jeremiah had warned Zedekiah that not surrendering to the Babylonians would bring God’s judgment. But Zedekiah did not fear that part of the message of Jeremiah. He was more afraid of what men could do to him and that they might mock him.

Imagine that, Zedekiah had been clearly warned by the LORD what would happen to him, his country, his women and children, and yet he thought more about being mocked. He’d also been told that if he surrendered he’d be SAFE.

Zedekiah is not alone is this lack of fear of the LORD. To be honest we’re all a bit like that. We worry much more about what people think about us than what the LORD thinks. The truth is, even amongst Christians, there are very few people fear God today. We don’t fear His judgment upon their sins, but instead fear what people will think about us.

What do you fear today? Are you afraid of men and of mocking or do you fear the the Lord God Almighty? You are going to fear someone—make sure you fear God and His judgment more than man and his mocking.

Here are two more verses that might just help in overcoming our fear of men:

Proverbs 9:10 (NIV) “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.

If only Zedekiah had listened to Jeremiah.

Matthew 10:28 (NIV) “Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell.”

The major reason Zedekiah or every Christian shouldn’t be afraid is that the LORD is with us.

Psalm 118:4-14 (NIV)
4  Let those who fear the LORD say: “His love endures for ever.”
5  In my anguish I cried to the LORD, and he answered by setting me free.
6  The LORD is with me; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?
7  The LORD is with me; he is my helper. I will look in triumph on my enemies.
8  It is better to take refuge in the LORD than to trust in man.
9  It is better to take refuge in the LORD than to trust in princes.
10  All the nations surrounded me, but in the name of the LORD I cut them off.
11  They surrounded me on every side, but in the name of the LORD I cut them off.
12  They swarmed around me like bees, but they died out as quickly as burning thorns; in the name of the LORD I cut them off.
13  I was pushed back and about to fall, but the LORD helped me.
14  The LORD is my strength and my song; he has become my salvation.

When FEAR took FLIGHT: I can’t forget the day that FEAR departed from my life. All my life I’d been afraid of the dark and death, but when I trusted Jesus my fears vanished like a mist. Fear really is a mist, it doesn’t exist except in our imagination of what might or may happen. So treat fear like the mist it is, and trust in something more solid, sure and certain: Jesus is with you. Amen!

So my friends, when fear strikes, TRUST in the LORD: Don’t listen to your fears: Don’t worry about being mocked: Why because when you’ve trusted in Jesus for your Salvation, then He is with you, you are indwelt with the Holy Spirit (God Himself takes up residence in your life when Jesus becomes your King). From the moment you trust in Jesus there’s no need to be afraid of men. If fear creeps in, cast it out in the Name of Jesus.

If you are still AFRAID: Ask yourself this question: “Is Jesus really my King?”… If there is any part or aspect of your life that you’ve not submitted to Him, get on your knees now and hand your life over into the mighty hands of the Loving Saviour. He’ll deliver you from all your fears. Amen!

PRAYER: O Lord, I can see that I’ve been listening to my fears rather than trusting in You, forgive my foolish ways O Lord. Amen.

Don.

P.S. I can’t forget the day that FEAR departed from my life. All my life I’d been afraid of the dark and death, but when I trusted Jesus my fears vanished like a mist. Fear really is a mist, it doesn’t exist except in our imagination of what might or may happen. So treat fear like the mist it is, and trust in something more solid, sure and certain: Jesus is with you. Amen!

P.S. If you want to read all about Zedekiah and what happened when Babylon invaded, it’s an exciting read: Start reading at Chapter 21, it’s so good you won’t want to put your Bible down until you’ve read it all :-)…

 

Desperate For LOVE

no God no Love, Know God, Know Love

Daily Spirit & Word: 759: Desperate For LOVE

Good morning my friends, it’s Fantastic Friday again. Some people say, “Monday to Friday is for work, but the weekends are for LOVE”. Well that’s so true, and so I’m going to give you LOVE today. This world is desperate for love, real love. So many people are living lives where love is in short supply, but they don’t have to my friends, because love is much closer than you think.

God IS Love.

1 John 4:7-21 (NIV)
7  Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God.
8  Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.
9  This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him.
10  This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.
11  Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.
12  No-one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.
13  We know that we live in him and he in us, because he has given us of his Spirit.
14  And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Saviour of the world.
15  If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in him and he in God.
16  And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him.
17  In this way, love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment, because in this world we are like him.
18  There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.
19  We love because he first loved us.
20  If anyone says, “I love God,” yet hates his brother, he is a liar. For anyone who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen.
21  And he has given us this command: Whoever loves God must also love his brother.

God is LOVE:

Did you know that in the passage above, LOVE is mentioned 27 times, go on, go back and count it. See how many times you can count the word LOVE?

My friends, how we NEED to KNOW God’s LOVE today; because God is LOVE. I don’t know about you, but I want that LOVE. I need that LOVE.

Yesterday we heard the tragic news that Jo Cox, an young mother and wife, an devoted MP, was shot and stabbed to death, murdered in broad-daylight in a quiet town in England. That’s such a horrific thing and our hearts must go out to her children and her husband. But what about the community who knew and loved her too? Jerremy Corbyn said about her, “She was a wonderful woman who stood for many things – human rights, peace and justice, who suffered a death that was “beyond appalling”.

Jo Cox’s family, friends and this whole Country has been robbed of a wonderful, beautiful and vibrant life. Where is LOVE? Remember what she stood for; “human rights, peace and justice”… These are the very things God wants us to know today, we can only truly know them, when we know God’s love and God is LOVE. You can’t hate people if God’s LOVE is in you, all you can do is love them.

In the passage above it tells us TWICE: God is love, but then it goes on to define that love for us as well: “This IS LOVE: not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins”. 1 John 4 Verse 10.

We know that right? But do we know it?

God is LOVE, so to demonstrate how much He loves you, He sent His ONE and ONLY Son to DIE for you.

When did He do that? Whilst we were still sinners… So it’s not because we deserve it, it’s not because we are good or because of anything in us to make God do it for us, but it’s because of His LOVE.

Why did He do that? Verse 9 tells us why, “So that we might live”… Live in love, live in God, live forever, live in Heaven and not in Hell. That’s real LOVE.

There’s a reason John is telling us all about God’s LOVE:

It’s that God wants, expects and knows, that when we KNOW Him, we’re going to be so full of His love, that we’re going to want to LOVE everyone. Not just the family, the neighbours or our workmates, but EVERYONE. We’re going to LOVE: the unlovely, the ones the world doesn’t love and wants to shut away. We’re going to love the ones who are hard to love. Why and How? because when we KNOW God, He gives us His LOVE in our hearts and that love will be shown in what we do and how we act towards everyone else in this world. If we’re not loving, then we just don’t know God. If we don’t know God then we are NOT SAVED, because we are still in our sins.

God is LOVE: He loves you no matter what, even when you were still a sinner, God was loving you.

Romans 5:8 (NIV) But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

But it’s not a wishy-washy kind of love: You see God is also revealed in John’s Gospel as: Light (Holiness, Righteousness, Justice), Love and Life. (See outline of 1 John at the end).

God couldn’t just let everyone into Heaven because of His love; but Jesus death can. He is always loving, kind and gentle, but He’s also JUST and sin must be punished. What do you think should happen to; murderers, rapists, child molestors, etc? What punishment would you give the murderer of Jo Cox? We, in our human justice, believe they should be punished or made to pay in some way for their crimes, right? Well, God has promised that all SIN will one day be punished. His punishment for sin, all sin, is DEATH. Every liar, thief, adulterer, murderer and rapist will be cast into the lake of fire.

There’s a judgement to Come:

Revelation 20:11-15 (NIV)
11  Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. Earth and sky fled from his presence, and there was no place for them.
12  And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Another book was opened, which is the book of life. The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books.
13  The sea gave up the dead that were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them, and each person was judged according to what he had done.
14  Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. The lake of fire is the second death.
15  If anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.

 Why? Because sin is going against God. God is fair, just and right to punish sin, because when we sin on purpose we’re saying to God, “I’m not going to live the way you want me to.” It’s like shutting the door on your best friend and slamming it in his face. Or it’s like having a feast and not inviting your loving granny to be a part of it, eating your treats in front of her. That’s cruel right? Nobody would ever do that to their loving granny would they? Well, when we live our life as if God doesn’t exist, that’s what we’re doing to Him, we’re slamming the door in God’s face. Well then my friends, when we shut the door on God’s face then we’re going to live for eternity without Him. Sin brings DEATH of our relationship with God and it’s ETERNAL. There is a price to be paid for sin, it’s going to cost us dearly, unless….. unless your name is found in the Lamb’s Book of Life.

However, in His LOVE, whilst we were still sinning like that, God sent His Son to DIE for us.

To benefit from God’s love and His sacrifice, we simply TRUST in Jesus. Turn in repentance and put our faith and trust in His Son.

When you receive Jesus as your LORD and SAVIOUR; you pass from death to life. God will forgive you and wipe away all your sins.

SIMPLE SALVATION: Know God, Know Life and Love.

When you:

  • Believe in Jesus Death for your sins, (Put your faith and trust in Him alone for your Salvation from Sin).
  • Repent of your sins (turn away from them and turn towards God for forgiveness),
  • Confess your sins to Him,
  • Receive Jesus as LORD: He will not force his way in to your life, you must receive Him by faith.
  • Be born of the Spirit, Be filled with Holy Spirit,
  • Be Baptized:
  • Live the Christian life in the power of the Spirit who will guide you to be obedient to all the commands of Jesus in the Bible. 
  • Join in fellowship with Brothers and Sisters in Christ. Worshiping the LORD!
  • Your NAME will be written in the Lamb’s Book of LIFE.

We’ll probably never know what drove that man to commit such a terrible act, it is pure EVIL. However, we can KNOW what real love is like, it’s the complete opposite: It’s a life given so that others might live. Jesus died so that we can live, but not just live a life knowing that He loves us so much, but so that we can also live a life of LOVE as well. If we know God, then we’re going to be LOVING towards everyone.

Love is not a feeling, it’s an act of the will.

Love is not a state of being, but it is a wonderful state to be in.

If you want to know if you love someone or if they love you; then … Get closer to God, because God is LOVE.

The Bible tells us God is love: So to know God is to know love.

YBH: “Yes But How?” “How can I love people more?”

So many people we’re told these days are DESPERATE for love. Thankfully God has provided the KEY to loving people, first get God’s love in your heart by trusting in Jesus, then follow the prompts of the Holy Spirit to become more like Jesus; then you will be doing the following:

1 Corinthians 13:1-13 (NKJV)
1  Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal.
2  And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.
3  And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing.
4  Love suffers long (is patient) and is kind; love does not envy (get jealous); love does not parade itself, is not puffed up;
5  does not behave rudely, does not seek its own (not selfish), is not provoked (easily angered), thinks no evil;
6  does not rejoice in iniquity (doesn’t delight in evil), but rejoices in the truth;
7  bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
8  Love never fails. But whether there are prophecies, they will fail; whether there are tongues, they will cease; whether there is knowledge, it will vanish away.
9  For we know in part and we prophesy in part.
10  But when that which is perfect has come, then that which is in part will be done away.
11  When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things.
12  For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known.
13  And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.

To be honest, we’re all desperate for that kind of love, the problem is we human beings perceive LOVE differently. We tend to think real love is something we need to get from someone else, but the truth is LOVE is something we get into when we’re aware that we ARE loved, and when we’re in LOVE (in God) we’re going to be so full of love, we’ll love EVERYONE. You know something my friends, when we’re loving like Jesus, then the whole world is ripe to receive that love too. Give it away; freely you have received, freely give.

May you experience REAL LOVE this weekend my friends, let’s continue to pray for the family, friends and folks who knew and loved Jo Cox, MP. Amen!

Don.

NOTE: Here’s An Outline of 1 John.

It’s amazing when some people think they can know God without ever reading the Bible, but apart from the person of Jesus Christ, there is no other way to really KNOW what God is like. John reveals three awesome things about God in His letter. God is; light, love and life. Read it, know God, know LOVE and have life.

I. God Is Light ( 1 John 1:5 ), 1 John 1:1 through 1John 2:2

A. Prologue, 1 John 1:1-2

B. How the Little Children May Have Fellowship with God, 1 John 1:3 through 1 John 2:2

1 . By Walking in Light, 1 John 1:3-7
2. By Confessing Sin, 1 John 1:8-10
3. By the Advocacy of Christ, 1 John 2:1-2

II. God Is Love ( 1 John 4:8 ), 1 John 2:3 through 1 John 4:21

A. How the Dear Children May Have Fellowship with Each Other, 1 John 2:3-14
(By Walking in Love)
B. The Dear Children Must Not Love the World, 1 John 2:15-28
C. How the Dear Children May Know Each Other and Live Together, 1 John 2:29
through 1 John 4:21
1. The Father’s Love for His Children, 1 John 2:29 through 1 John 3:3
2. The Two Natures of the Believer in Action, 1 John 3:4-24
3. Warning Against False Teachers, 1 John 4:1-6
4. God Is Love: Little Children Will Love Each Other, 1 John 4:7-21

III. God Is Life ( 1 John 5:12 ), 1 John 5

A. Victory Over the World, 1 John 5:1-5
B. Assurance of Salvation, 1 John 5:6-21

 

How to LIVE in Kingdom Power

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Why Do We NEED Holy SPIRIT?

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

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

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

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

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

I like what William Barclay said about this verse;

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

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

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

Which WALK will you choose today?

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

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

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

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

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

This promise of the Kingdom of Heaven:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Awesome!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Holy Spirit is your PASSPORT into the Kingdom.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Amen.

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

Don.

 

God’s Heart to Heal

Do you believe in the God of miracles?

Daily Spirit & Word: 753:

Can The God You Believe In Do Miracles?

“The smile on your face help me know you need me” (Knowing the Father’s Heart).

Good morning my friends, I want to put a huge wide smile on your face today. But not just on your face, on your heart too. The JOY of the LORD is my strength.

All this week we’ve been hearing about those who are sick and dying; friends, good friends, best friends, relatives: But do we actually believe in a God who cares, has compassion, is kind, gentle and loving? These are all attributes of God’s character, yes God is Holy, get’s angry as we heard yesterday, and can be full of wrath and anger against our sins. However, we also serve a God who fully revealed Himself in Jesus and before that in the Old Testament.

Listen with new ears, watch with renewed eyes to see what God is like today:

God Gives LIFE AGAIN to a Widow’s Son.

1 Kings 17:17-24 (NIV)
17  Some time later the son of the woman who owned the house became ill. He grew worse and worse, and finally stopped breathing.
18  She said to Elijah, “What do you have against me, man of God? Did you come to remind me of my sin and kill my son?”
19  “Give me your son,” Elijah replied. He took him from her arms, carried him to the upper room where he was staying, and laid him on his bed.
20  Then he cried out to the LORD, “O LORD my God, have you brought tragedy also upon this widow I am staying with, by causing her son to die?”
21  Then he stretched himself out on the boy three times and cried to the LORD, “O LORD my God, let this boy’s life return to him!”
22  The LORD heard Elijah’s cry, and the boy’s life returned to him, and he lived.
23  Elijah picked up the child and carried him down from the room into the house. He gave him to his mother and said, “Look, your son is alive!”
24  Then the woman said to Elijah, “Now I know that you are a man of God and that the word of the LORD from your mouth is the truth.”

Elijah had gone to a widow’s house, initially she thought she and her son would starve to death because of a famine. But Elijah arrived and the flour and oil didn’t run out, it was a miracle of God’s provision. Now the woman’s son, her only son, died. Just listen to her, the way she’s talking to Elijah: “What do you have against me, man of God? Did you come to remind me of my sin and kill my son?”

Often when tragedy strikes, because we’re hurting we strike out at others. Sometimes the ones who are closest to us, those who’ve been kindest to us, THEY are the ones who get blasted first. It’s both Elijah and God that this woman is shaking her fist at. “Man of God”…

But there’s more: The woman obviously had a past:

Like most of us, she’d not lived a completely righteous life, because somewhere in her past she knew she’d sinned. The knowledge of that sin had not left her, and because of her son’s death, she’d obviously been thinking to herself, “Who’s fault is it that my boy has died? Is it my fault? Did I bring this tragedy upon my son because of the things I did wrong in the past?”

We often do that too: I know I do. Whenever things go wrong, I think to myself, “Oh Lord, to what are you drawing my attention? Could it be something I’ve done?” It’s a good question. But to move from self-examination to attacking the man of God… as if God would be wrong somehow to exercise judgement at any time.

  • Perhaps the LORD was using her son’s death to get to the heart of her deepest issue in life.
  • Perhaps her son’s death was the only way the LORD would get this woman’s heart back to Himself.
  • Perhaps the LORD just wanted to show this woman most clearly that He is a God who FORGIVES SINS.

The Boy Comes Back To LIFE:

Just like Jesus who died and rose again from the dead; this boy’s life is restored by the LORD. Jesus was God’s ONE and ONLY Son, who died. The boy was the woman’s one and only son.

Elijah gives the boy back to the woman: Now listen to her response:

 1 Kings 17:24 Then the woman said to Elijah, “Now I know that you are a man of God and that the word of the LORD from your mouth is the truth.”

That “NOW I KNOW”: says a lot to me. because even though she’d been experiencing an ongoing miracle of God’s provision i.e. Her flour and oil never ran out: She’s been cooking with it for ages, but deep inside her heart there is an AVENUE OF DOUBT AND UNBELIEF. Those words “NOW I KNOW” shout out to me today.

“Donald, you’ve seen My miracles in the past, so why do you doubt today?”…

Oh LORD! “I have seen your miracles in the past, I know you goodness, kindness, mercy and love, give me a NEW HEART to believe in Your POWER to HEAL today” Amen!

The Oil and Flour Miracles wasn’t enough to move her to repent and trust the LORD completely.

The Resurrection of her son, moved the widow woman to a deeper knowledge and understanding of the LORD.

My friends, the RESURRECTION of God’s ONE and ONLY Son, Jesus Christ, moves me afresh today, to say with the woman, the widow, “NOW I KNOW”….

NOW I KNOW: God can do anything.

  • He can hear our prayer.
  • He can heal our sicknesses, diseases, blindness, deafness, hard-hardheartedness, coldness, stubbornness, sinfulness and rebellion.
  • He can deliver us from DEATH…

BUT: Do YOU Believe He WANTS to do it?

NOW I KNOW: He wants to Heal, Deliver and Forgive… TODAY.

I’m going to be praying much more, much more, for people to experience God’s HEALING touch in their lives. We are going to see miracles my friends.

My friends, doesn’t that put a huge, a massive smile on your face today? Isn’t your HEART warmed and filled with JOY because the LORD is the same, yesterday, today and forever. Amen.

Last night, we had a meeting in church about “Oh Happy Day” West Norwood, London. A festival of JOY. Saturday 16th July (Put the date in your diary and come and see God move).

The Lord gave me this song, it’s a secular song, but it spoke to me of God’s TRUTH: When you say nothing at all:

The smile on your face
Lets me know
That you need me
There’s a truth
In your eyes
Saying you’ll never leave me
The touch of your hand says
You’ll catch me
Whenever I fall
You say it best
When you say
Nothing at all

My friends, God NEEDS you to be His hands, His feet, His heart to go to this hurting world and bring His HEALING: Will you go and touch, speak and heal today?

Some people argue, God can do it, but my friends, He’s chosen a way to do it; through His people. He’s going to do it through YOU! Have faith in the God who wants to Heal today.

Have a fantastic weekend, full of faith, full of trust and full of the JOY of the LORD.

Knowing the FATHER’S HEART.

Don.

 

Don’t Go Near The Hornet’s Nest

King Solomon's Temple Destroyed because of sin and rebellion

Daily Spirit & Word: 752: Don’t Go Near The Hornet’s Nest.

Sin Brings: Destruction and Deportation.

Ezra 5:11-12 (NIV)
11  This is the answer they gave us: “We are the servants of the God of heaven and earth, and we are rebuilding the temple that was built many years ago, one that a great king of Israel built and finished. 12  But because our fathers angered the God of heaven, he handed them over to Nebuchadnezzar the Chaldean, king of Babylon, who destroyed this temple and deported the people to Babylon.

WARNING: Don’t Anger The God of Heaven and Earth.

John 5:14 (ESV) Afterward Jesus found him in the temple and said to him, “See, you are well! Sin no more, that nothing worse may happen to you.”

Good morning my friends, have you ever wondered if your sin would bring God’s wrath and anger against you? For hundreds of years after King Solomon had done a marvellous work for God, building the magnificent Temple, there was a long time of decline in National morals. Eventually, after warning the people time and time again, God’s anger burned and He brought upon them the promised punishment and they were deported from His promised land.

We just don’t know how much God hates SIN:

  • Sin is rebellion against God.
  • Sin is transgression of God’s law.
  • Sin is breaking one or other of God’s Commandments.
  • Sin is going our own way instead of God’s way.

The Consequences of SIN: Destruction and Deportation.

Are YOU In Trouble With God?

Read the verse from Ezra once more:

“But because our fathers angered the God of heaven, he handed them over to Nebuchadnezzar the Chaldean, king of Babylon, who destroyed this temple and deported the people to Babylon.”

Border Police: Deportation.

The other week in West Norwood, as we were out sharing the Good News of Jesus, right across the road from where we were witnessing a DRAMA unfolded before our eyes. The Border Police had arrived in great numbers, they’d come to arrest someone to be deported. The crowds gathered instantly, some shouting abuse at the police, others just standing around watching, as they forcefully bundled someone into their big police van to take them away. It really was over-the-top policing, all those officers to remove one individual.

A few months ago I watched a Nature programme on TV about Killer Giant Hornets: They invade wasps nests and bees nests and killed every single one of the wasps or bees and steal all their honey. However, when people wander inadvertently too close they too come under attack.  That’s what happened to Israel when they stirred up God’s wrath and anger; He sent an overwhelming power to destroy their Temple and deport them to Babylon. After watching those hornets there’s no way I’d go near one of their nests.

My friends, that’s what God’s wrath is like too: He didn’t send just another little army to deport Israel, He stirred up an whole Empire and they came if huge force, overwhelming force, to take away the rebellious Nation of Israel into captivity. There was no way they’d be able to withstand an attack from this Empire. In addition to the DEPORTATION the Babylonian Empire also came to DESTROY the great Temple that King Solomon had built for God.

When we get angry, someone can step in to the situation and bring peace. However, when God gets angry and His righteous fury is aroused, then there’s NOTHING on Earth that can stop Him.

Jonah: When God wanted Jonah to go to Nineveh, initially Jonah didn’t want to go and ran away, however, God brought Jonah to his knees and he eventually took God’s message to Nineveh. It took a storm, being thrown overboard and a big fish to swallow Jonah, but he reluctantly and finally repented inside that huge fish, and eventually did what God wanted from the beginning, to go to Nineveh.

Questions:

  • Have you ever wondered why Jonah was so reluctant to do what God wanted him to do?
  • Have you ever wondered why the Nation of Israel found it so difficult to obey God’s Commands?
  • Have you ever wondered why you always seem to fall into sin so easily?
  • After all it seems like a no-brainer that walking with God is much better for us, but human beings always think they know what’s best don’t they?

Well, this verse tells us what can happen to us if we choose to stir up the hornet’s nest of God’s wrath. When we ignore His warnings, when we refuse to listen to our Conscience.

This verse is part of the answer the Jews gave to their enemies when they were rebuilding the Temple after coming back to the Promised Land after the long years of captivity and exile.

The verse tells why the Temple needed rebuilding: It had been DESTROYED. It speaks of the provoking of God to anger, and the resultant punishment brought upon themselves by God.

Provoking God To Anger: Ezra 5:12 “But because our fathers angered the God of heaven”

This verse tells us when the provoking occurred and what the provoking did.

First, when it occurred. “After that.” The context says this provoking occurred after the first Temple was built by Solomon. After a great work was done for God, the people provoked God by their disobedience.

My friends, we must be very careful after accomplishing some great work, some good work for God, that we don’t let down our guard. Solomon was so full of wisdom and dedicated, but afterwards, he let down his spiritual guard and fell into temptation. He’d done something so amazing and marvellous, it became a wonder of the world and many people travelled thousands of miles just to see his awesome Temple of God. However his dedication and devotion turned to PRIDE and the great wise king fell into sin. Sadly it wasn’t only Solomon, the whole Nation of Israel was rotten from the Head to the Toe: They’d turned away from God. It is often after a time of great success for God, that Satan attacks and causes us to go astray.

Second, what the REBELLION did. “Provoked the God of heaven unto wrath.”

What this provocation did was stir up the wrath of God. Like the hornet’s nest, like the OTT Border Security. Sin stirs-up the wrath of God. If there is anything you want to avoid in life, it is the wrath of God.

My friends, we all love warm and fuzzy messages about the LOVE of God don’t we? We like to hear about the GRACE of God, the MERCY of God. We’re amazed at the Miracles of God, We’re encouraged by the wisdom of God and the Power of God, but we also need to hear some of the TRUTH about the WRATH of God. Sin stirs-up the Righteous ANGER and wrath of God. Our sin provokes the wrath of God, and nothing is more dangerous for your soul.

Finally, The Punishing by God.

Ezra 5:12 “… he handed them over to Nebuchadnezzar the Chaldean, king of Babylon, who destroyed this temple and deported the people to Babylon.”

Another translation puts it like this “Nebuchadnezzar carried the people away into Babylon.”

The punishment was twofold: It involved destruction and deportation.

First, The Destruction. “Destroyed this house.” The great Temple which Solomon had built was destroyed. Israel forsook worship at the Temple, and so God destroyed it. If we are not good at looking after our Spiritual Achievements or of God’s wonderful Spiritual privileges, we will lose them. They will be as if they had not been.

Second, the Deportation. “Deported the people to Babylon.” Israel was removed from the Promised Land. When they rejected God, He no longer protected them from their enemies, they came and deported the people to a place far away from the Promised Land. Most of them, never to return.

I think that when we get to Heaven we’re going to be totally shocked by just HOW the LORD has been protecting us from evil all our lives. How He’s watching over us, How He’s keeping Satan away from our house, home, family, friends, fellowship and life. However, when we choose to walk away from God, on purpose, we’re opening up the doorway to Satan. It’s like we’re giving him permission to do whatever he wants with all that we hold most dear to us. Don’t give the devil a foothold into your life today. However, there’s something worse than Satan or the Devil. My friends, you DON’T WANT to stir-up the wrath and anger of God or he just might remove that protective barrier and allow something terrible to happen, just to bring us back to our senses and to allow us to see that walking with Him is much better than walking our own way.

Heed the warning in the history of Israel: See what happens when God’s chosen people refuse to repent.

Heed the warnings given in the New Testament to Believers and Followers of Jesus: Hebrews 5:11-6:12.

Times have not changed; this is still true. Our own nation, the UK was once a great world power, we took the Word of God to the Nations of the world at one time, but now God has turned things on their heads, and the peoples of the world are coming back to the UK, they have come to EVANGELISE Great Britain, to bring the Word of God back, because we’ve rejected God as a Nation. Thankfully He’s not destroyed us yet or banished us into captivity. However, we are living like there is no God, like sin doesn’t matter. Everyone is doing what is right in their own eyes again.

My friends, we do need to heed God’s warnings.

As far as you are concerned, follower of Jesus Christ, don’t stir up the Hornet’s Nest of God’s wrath and anger with your sinful choices. See sin how God sees it and hate it as much as He does. Repent and turn again to God. Do the things you once did when you first came to know and follow Jesus Christ.

PEACE CAN BE RESTORED:

Just last night we were standing outside KFC (Kentucky Fried Chicken) sharing the good news of Jesus with a couple. A man came out and immediately began to shout abuse at the couple. Apparently they had purposefully leaned up against his car. He was really angry, I mean, really angry. It’s strange how quickly ANGER gets stirred-up in a person. He began to racially abuse the man; the car owner was Jamaican and the man we were talking with was African. He said, “You African, you boy, you are ignorant”… with a few more unrepeatable words. Richard, who’d come out with us for the first time since doing the Alpha Course, was brilliant, he just stepped in the middle of the two of them, peace guys, peace. He offered the car owner £1,000,000. He initially said, “I don’t want your money”… Then after a few moments said, “What is that?”… He jumped into his car, but before he did, I grabbed hold of his hand and said, “Jesus is LORD, we are Christians, Here’s a little Coin with the Ten Commandments, Jesus sees hatred as murder”. Richard, said, “Forgiveness is for everyone”… He smiled and said, “I know, I know”.

Jesus said, “Stop sinning or something worse might happen to you”…

John 5:14 (ESV)  Afterward Jesus found him in the temple and said to him, “See, you are well! Sin no more, that nothing worse may happen to you.”

It’s amazing HOW PEACE can be RESTORED.

But don’t leave it too long: God is patient, but…

God sent His Son Jesus Christ to take away the sins of the whole world. He did so to bring PEACE between mankind and God. So that we can avoid His wrath and anger against sin. But the whole world, in order to benefit from God’s own sacrifice, needs to come to it’s knees as Jonah did. Jonah was forced to his knees before he eventually went to Nineveh, Israel was forced into exile, but by then it was too late to repent, let’s do it without the need for God to force us to our knees. Choose today to come back to the LORD and let go of sin in your life. Don’t stir up the Hornet’s Nest of God’s Wrath and Anger. You don’t want His Heavenly Border Security Force to cast you into the Lake of Fire…

Jesus has delivered every Christian from sin, He set us free, so that we can now live a life that’s pleasing to God. But, we must continue to walk with Jesus every day. “Take up your Cross daily and follow me” We all need to walk with Jesus and be full of the Holy Spirit and keep our eyes on Him every day in order to know how to avoid sin in our own lives. As we do so, He will transform our minds, renew our thinking and enable us to experience His JOY in our hearts. (Romans 12).

Christian brothers and sisters, we all need to heed this frightening warning today. God hates sin it makes Him so angry. We tolerate sin, but it stirs our God to Wrath and Anger. We all know people, who were once great followers of Jesus who’s lives lie in ruins now because of their sinful choices.

  • Sin Brings: Destruction.
  • Sin Brings: Banishment.
  • BUT: Repentance: Brings PEACE.

To BE A FOLLOWER of Jesus Today: Believe in The Lord Jesus, Repent of your sin, Receive Him as your LORD, Be Baptised and Be filled with His Holy Spirit and Follow His ways.

I don’t want the LORD to send an mighty Empire against our Nation.

I don’t want anyone I know to experience the wrath and anger of God.

I want everyone to come back to Jesus now.

I’m also praying that when we’ve been successful, when we’ve done great things for God, we’ll not get proud and conceited and be tempted to fall away and fall into sin, pride, folly, and ignite the anger or wrath of God. Amen!

It’s half-term, I hope you are all enjoying the holiday week.

Stay close to Jesus. Be filled afresh with His Spirit. Walk in PEACE.

Don.

P.S. Tonight there’s a wonderful Presentation of “Oh Happy Day”…

A vision to share the LOVE and JOY of being a follower of Jesus.

St Luke’s Church, West Norwood, London. 7.30pm.

 

God’s All Consuming Fire

Elijah and the Prophets of Baal, the fire fell

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

Our God is an ALL CONSUMING FIRE.

 

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

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

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

A) What Prompted The Fire?

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

B) What Power There Is In The Fire:

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

 

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

 

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

C) What More Proof Do We Need?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

D) God’s Pity Is In That FIRE:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Don.

 

You were made to last forever, eternity.

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

Daily Spirit & Word. 715: Immortality. Eternity.

God Made YOU to Last Forever.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dictionary Meaning of “Immortality”:

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

Synonyms: Afterlife, Hereafter, Permanence, Permanency,

Antonyms: Mortality (Mortal).

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

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

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

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

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

God sees our inmost thoughts: (Psalm 139)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Have a wonderful day with the Lord Jesus,

Don.

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

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

ETERNITY

Why Did Jesus Die On The Cross?

Sharing the Good News with Graham on Good Friday

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Praise the LORD for Gospel conversations.

Praise the LORD for Good Friday

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