Staying On Track With Jesus

How powerful you are as a Christian is determined by how close you are to Jesus Christ

Daily Spirit & Word: 781: Don’t Get Sidetracked.

Staying On Track With Jesus

Over the summer we visited lot’s of historical sites, one was the Bluebell Railway. We took a trip on an old steam-train and it was awesome. So many childhood memories flooded back into my mind, things I thought I’d forgotten. Just the smell of the smoke evoked memories of the old railways in Edinburgh and day-trips to Kinghorn and Burnt Island in the 1960s and of course the Forth Railway Bridge.

On the Bluebell line, trains would sit and wait on a sidetrack whilst another train passed, we observed the old fashioned way they changed the tracks by hand, pulling a lever. It got me to thinking about our relationship with Jesus, and how when something happens it is so easy to get sidetracked in our walk with Him.

Getting sidetracked is so easy. As you begin a lifetime of following Jesus, it is important to understand that whatever you do for Him will only be a reflection of the relationship you have with Him. If you want to do great things just like Jesus’ Disciples and the Apostles, and I’m sure you do, then you need to have a great relationship with Jesus like they did. If you want to have a ministry for Jesus that is strong, your relationship with Jesus must be strong.

Getting back on track is just as easy: Jesus is only a prayer away.

Acts 3:1 (NIV) “One day Peter and John were going up to the temple at the time of prayer—at three in the afternoon…”

After Pentecost, full of the Holy Spirit, the Apostles maintained a daily routine of prayer. They were keeping close to Jesus by gathering for worship and prayer.

Oswald Chambers was a man others recognized as being abandoned to God. He was a Scottish itinerant preacher and Bible college founder. In his early forties he died far away from home in Egypt of a ruptured appendix while ministering to the troops during WWI. His meditations on the Christian life collected in the daily devotional classic “My Utmost for His Highest” have enriched generations of Christians. He deeply understood the essential nature of maintaining a close relationship with Jesus.

J.C.Ryle an Anglican Evangelical Bishop. Knew about Daily Prayer and wrote some of the most powerful books to keep you close to Jesus. I read through a portion of his works every single day whilst at Theological College. It was a tough time, because I had to read so much garbage from liberal theologians and ordained men who didn’t know Jesus personally, but this sound man of God kept me on track with my own walk with Jesus.

Selwyn Hughes: Wrote “Everyday With Jesus”. I got into reading those little daily devotionals when I was a very young Christian in the 1980s, and I can testify they kept me going on track with Jesus. Every day I’d pick up my Bible and the little booklet and read, pray, praise the Lord. Soon I realised it’s much more than reading, but listening and talking with Jesus.

How you serve Jesus is simply an overflow of your time with Jesus.

So my friends, the main thing about Christianity is not the work we do, but the relationship we maintain with Jesus, and the character, power and zeal you’ll have is a by-product of that relationship. That is all God asks us to look after, and it is the one thing that is being continually besieged by all the things that will try and get us sidetracked.

You’ll see, because it’s easy to justify not spending quality time with Jesus, but you’ll also see that not spending time with Him will be equally evident.

STAYING ON TRACK:

The most important thing you will ever do as a Christian is: SPEND TIME WITH JESUS DAILY.

It’s a KINGDOM PRINCIPLE, PRECEPT and PRACTICE.

Your own responsibility in the Kingdom of Jesus Christ to maintain your own personal relationship with the KING. Why? Because nobody else can do it for you. The best question you can ask your brother or sister in Christ is this, “How’s your walk with Jesus?” or “Are you meeting with Jesus every day?” Nothing else really matters, because what we do for Jesus will be shown by how close we are to Him.

I’ve met many Christians who’re struggling with basic things, I’ve counselled so many, but when we take a closer look at how they are spending time with Jesus daily, we’ve found that’s the one thing they’re not maintaining, so problems come. We’ll avoid so much heartache and troubles if we just keep closer to Jesus. He’ll warn us when things are coming our way. He knows the future. He knows the past. He knows everything. You have the privilege of coming to the sourse of the best NEWS you’ll ever hear every day.

But more than that; Jesus wants to talk with you too. He’s waiting for you every day. When you get up and go to Jesus, He’s waiting for you.

How’s your walk and time with Jesus going?

Living for Jesus flows out of your relationship with Jesus.

WARNING: We often get it the other way around.

Notice that the “with Jesus” is the basis of the “for Jesus.”

So often we Christians get so caught up in what we are trying to do for Jesus that we totally overlook the source of power for anything we can do for Jesus, which comes out of who we have become by spending time with Jesus.

I’ve made the mistake so many times of forgetting Jesus. It’s as if we’re serving the LORD but forgetting to involve Him in what we’re doing. Never forget it is Jesus you are living for and serving.

YBH: Yes but HOW?

How do you spend time with Jesus?

It’s not about “Saying Prayers”… “Reading a BOOK” … etc…

If you’ve ever been in a significant relationship, then you’ll know that the strength of your feelings of love, devotion, care and concern are dependent upon how close you feel towards that other person. So many times I’ve heard from couples, “We’ve just drifted apart emotionally”… It’s so true. We stop caring. We stop being concerned about them. We begin to live for ourselves. If that’s true in our earthly relationships, then it’s also true in our Spiritual relationship with Jesus Christ. You’ll notice over time that you just don’t care if you don’t spend time. A wake-up call is coming your way if you’re living your Christian life like that.

So you’ll stake everything on maintaining the most important relationship you’ll ever have in life; the one with Jesus Christ.

Make and Keep A TIME with Jesus:

Acts 3:1 (NIV) “One day Peter and John were going up to the temple at the time of prayer—at three in the afternoon.”

Here’s how many Christians do it:

Fix A TIME that’s right for you: I do it first thing every morning. And so did many of the powerful men of God in the past, but I’m aware that might not be the best time for everyone. But FIX a TIME to be with Jesus every day. Don’t let anything push that time with Jesus out of the way. Treat it like an appointment with the Queen or President or Prime Minister. It’s your appointment with the KING of Kings.

Pray, Read God’s Word, Pray, Praise, Sing, Pray, Listen, Meditate upon what you’ve just read; Pray in the Scriptures, Ask Jesus questions about what you’ve just read. Worship and sings songs based upon what you’ve just been reading in God’s Word. Use YouTube and Google to search out songs related to your Bible theme. (The JOY of the LORD is my strength). Read about the Saints who’ve gone before you and how they got on FIRE for Jesus, but more importantly, how they maintained that fire and stayed on-track with Jesus.

Keep a prayer / devotional journal: Write things down. It’s amazing how Jesus brings you back to a prayer you’ve written and shows you how He’s answered it.

As you spend time with Jesus you will be able to do so much for Jesus.

It’s amazing what you can learn from a trip on an old fashioned steam train, I’ll never forget my trip on the Bluebell Railway and what it taught me about staying on track with Jesus.

Have an awesome week my friends.

BTW: by-the-way, we’ve got our Monthly Prayer Meeting tonight at 7.30pm in St Luke’s Church: I’ll be sharing more about the MOST IMPORTANT THING in Christianity. Be blessed in Jesus.

Don.

 

A Mighty Power Faith Filled Factory

Becoming a mighty power faith filled factory producing new believers devoted to Jesus

Daily Spirit & Word: 745: Supernatural Natural Devotion

Will lead to the building up and expansion of God’s Kingdom Family.

Your little fellowship can become a mighty power faith filled factory; producing Devoted followers of Jesus.

Good morning my friends, AFTER PENTECOST what happened in the lives of those who’d committed their lives to Jesus, had been baptised and filled with Holy Spirit? Answer they GOT DEVOTION.

It’s not a word you hear much these days, ‘Devotion’, is it? But just after Pentecost we hear in the book of Acts about what happened with the 3000 who began following Jesus.

Acts 2:42-47 (NIV)
42 They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.
43  Everyone was filled with awe, and many wonders and miraculous signs were done by the apostles.
44  All the believers were together and had everything in common.
45  Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need.
46  Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts,
47  praising God and enjoying the favour of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.

From this little passage we can observe at least five things in the lives of the first Christians who trusted in Jesus, were baptised and had received the Holy Spirit.

They Devoted Themselves:

Nobody told them to do it, it was a natural or supernatural new inclination, to do these things. When the Holy Spirit indwells a person they’ll want to do these things too.

  1. Devotion to Teaching: They became learners of all that Jesus taught.
  2. Devotion to Fellowship: They got closer to each other. Meeting in Temple and Each other’s homes.
  3. Devotion to Breaking of Bread: This is a reference to Holy Communion: Remembering Jesus’ Sacrifice and to Eating together.
  4. Devotion to Prayer: When the Holy Spirit is in you, then you’ll automatically want to pray regularly. It’s not an obligation any more it’s a complete change of desire within.

When we’re DEVOTED like this, some things are going to be happening.

e) Many Signs and Wonders: were done by the Apostles. If you are devoted as an ordinary person to Jesus and all of the above, not because you have to but because you want to, then watch out, because WONDERS are going to be normal for your fellowship.

f) Common Concern: In verse 44 we learn that they shared their possessions and even sold some of them to help the needy amongst themselves. When Holy Spirit takes up residence within a person’s heart, there’s a new love for the brothers and sisters in the Lord’s family.

g) MEETING TOGETHER REGULARLY: Since I’ve had the Spirit, I’ve never thought meeting just ONCE a week was enough. Most, the majority of Christians today only want to meet once a week, life’s just too busy the meet up more than that, right? WRONG: when the Holy Spirit takes up residence in your heart, you’ll have a LONGING to be with brothers and sisters on a very regular basis. They did it every day, but in reality that’s not practical, because we’ve all got other things that need to be done: tending sheep, planting corn, digging fields, and that’s just the farming community, what about the City Workers? However, there’s still going to be a STRONG DESIRE for more regular FELLOWSHIP than just once a week. So we learn to be very CREATIVE in how we get fellowship.

h) Worshiping God: With glad and sincere hearts they praised the LORD! Worship is an integral aspect of any gathering together. We’ll want to sing our hearts out to the LORD!

How To BE CREATIVE: in getting fellowship more regularly:

SMALL GROUP: Either join of start a small group at work: To meet a lunch times to read God’s Word (Apostles Teaching) and to Pray together. I did this on every ship, establishment and submarine I served on after becoming a Christian in the Royal Navy.

FELLOWSHIP GROUP: There will be fellowship groups in your church, either get the Minister’s permission to start one or join an existing group. The strong desire will never go away, so start as soon as you feel it. Meet up REGULARLY: Once a week is good to start with, but don’t wait to long to add extra meetings for coffee, chats and Evangelism together.

What About Young Mothers: How can they possibly get FELLOWSHIP with young kids running around? I can’t think of a better group to get together even more regularly than those who’ve got toddlers to care for. It’s natural to meet for chats and coffee or tea, but just add the extra dimensions of Bible Study, Prayer, Fellowship, Evangelism, Breaking Bread and Ministry…

No matter what you do or where you work, there are good reasons to FORM or JOIN a SMALL GROUP: It keeps you very sharp as a Christian, you’ll be filled with HOLY SPIRIT DESIRES every day: You’ll want to do what He prompts you to do together. It’s much easier to share you faith with someone else. You’ll make excuses to keep inviting your NON-CHRISTIAN friends along to be with you and your friends. Just say, “I’m off during lunch break to read some of the Bible with a few friends, do you want to come along?”… “We’re learning all about Jesus teachings, do you want to come?” Don’t make the mistakes that I did, sometimes I only asked people once, but then I learned a secret, it took a long time before I myself said YES to Jesus invitations. So just keep asking your friends, but in different ways. “I’m meeting up with some Christian brothers, you should meet these guys, they’re filled with Holy Spirit POWER”…

When you get back from lunch, those who didn’t come will be intrigued to discover what you’ve been up to. I had so many questions when news got out on the Submarine that I was having fellowship in the SINS room on-board HMS Tireless. “What do you do in there?” they’d ask or “We heard you singing hymns” they’d say. “What’s that all about?” they’d ask… People are NATURALLY NOSEY: They want to know, they’re interested. So some will ask you when they know you are attending a small group, “What’s that all about?”… Always be prepared to give them an answer and an invitation to come and experience it for themselves.

Give An Answer and An Invitation.

Devotion is not a POPULAR word with the world, but it still is with EVERY person who’s been baptised and filled with the Holy Spirit.

So a good question to ask right now is: “How is my own DEVOTION going?” and “Am I so full of the Holy Spirit that I have these burning desires to be devoted in these ways?”… If NOT, then there’s a problem. You NEED more of God’s Spirit, because it’s supernaturally natural to want or desire DEVOTION to; Jesus teachings, the Apostles teachings, breaking bread, fellowship, prayer, meeting each other’s needs, meeting together, doing miracles, winning others to Christ. The Holy Spirit replaces our own natural desires with His Supernatural Desires to Build God’s Kingdom Family. IF NOT: You’ll become like the seeds sown on rocky soil or the hard path or among the thistles; your faith will wither and die quite soon. You might keep up the semblance of Christian attendance for a while, but it will never be fire filled or full of faith and fun. Devotion is what Holy Spirit longs for in the life a new follower of Jesus. If your an old follower and you are not devoted like this, why? What’s stopping you doing what God wants you to do? START AGAIN!

The LORD added to their number DAILY those who were being SAVED. Non Christians were attracted to this kind of DEVOTED fellowship. You are going to see this too when you get even more DEVOTED to Jesus Christ, His mission and His teachings. When we follow Jesus teachings, we’re going to see Father God’s Heart is to win thousands into His family. He’ll do it through you’re own little fellowship, which will soon become an awesome mighty power filled faith factory; producing even more DEVOTED followers of Jesus.

I’m praying you’ll get this kind of DEVOTION: Pray for me too: I need to cling to Jesus every day and get fellowship just as regularly as the next Christian, it’s a supernatural natural longing within my heart, but I’ve learned we’ve got to make it happen or it won’t. Nobody else is going to make it happen for you, your inner desire will make it happen: So seek out fellowship and be the devoted follower the Holy Spirit makes you want to be.

Don.

 

From The Miracles to The Miracle Maker

Jesus cares and provides fish and bread at the resurrection appearances on the beach

Daily Spirit & Word: 509: From The Miracles to the Miracle Maker.

40 Days With Jesus: Day 25: John 21:7-14.

Good morning my friends, Saturday’s are always so special for me, because it’s the day of; rest and relaxation, a time to be with family and friends, a time to rebuild what the working week has drained out or us. Some of my friends relax so much on Saturdays that they spend the whole day in bed or in their night-clothes relaxing on the couch. Why? Because their working week is so stress-filled or exhausting and demanding, by the time Saturday comes around all they are ready to do is FLOP.

Today we’ll discover the tired, exhausted and hungry Disciples and the Lord Jesus coming to their assistance with a cooked breakfast for them to eat, also that Jesus is your friend and as a friend He comes to you for fellowship: He’s promised to do this many times in His Word, the Holy Scriptures, and today we’ll see the very first time that it actually happened after His Crucifixion and Resurrection from the dead.

John 21:7-14 7  Then the disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, “It is the Lord!” As soon as Simon Peter heard him say, “It is the Lord,” he wrapped his outer garment around him (for he had taken it off) and jumped into the water.
8  The other disciples followed in the boat, towing the net full of fish, for they were not far from shore, about a hundred yards.
9  When they landed, they saw a fire of burning coals there with fish on it, and some bread.
10  Jesus said to them, “Bring some of the fish you have just caught.”
11  Simon Peter climbed aboard and dragged the net ashore. It was full of large fish, 153, but even with so many the net was not torn.
12  Jesus said to them, “Come and have breakfast.” None of the disciples dared ask him, “Who are you?” They knew it was the Lord.
13  Jesus came, took the bread and gave it to them, and did the same with the fish.
14  This was now the third time Jesus appeared to his disciples after he was raised from the dead.

Jesus Close Friends Get The Revelations:

The first thing that happens after the Miracle of the catch of fish that didn’t sink the boat or break the nets, was one of the Disciples, the one whom Jesus loved, recognised who it was that told them to drop the net on the right side of the boat. That revelation comes to the one who was closest to Jesus, “the disciple whom Jesus loved”. We know that disciple was John, the Gospel Writer and the very same John who wrote 1, 2 and 3 John and the book of Revelations. How close are you to Jesus today? If you are close like John, then you are going to get a some amazing revelations of the Miracle Maker.

As I pointed out yesterday: Jesus PROMISE is that He will come (John 14) He’ll come and REVEAL Himself to us and in us. He’ll come and have fellowship. He’ll come and we’ll EAT together (Rev 3:20)… It’s Awesome to know this as a TRUTH, but it’s even more awesome when we experience the risen and resurrected Lord’s presence and we get our own REVELATION. Not just once, but regularly. No wonder John wanted to communicate it so clearly throughout his Gospel and all his letter and the book of Revelation. Jesus wants a closer walk with you today and He’s waiting and watching and calling out to you today to come to Him.

It’s been my own experience that the Lord has made known to me that He is present, many times. I’ve had that feeling and knowledge that Jesus is HERE: Whilst washing dishes (I hate washing dishes, but I began to sing praise songs, then suddenly Jesus came, and the task that I was doing seemed so much easier and even joy filled, I was in the presence of Jesus and I began to cry with joy). He’s with us always, of course, from the moment we decided to follow Him as Lord and receive Him as Saviour, but there are times when He manifests Himself and makes Himself more KNOWN. Just like He did with the Disciples in all His resurrection appearances, somehow they didn’t recognise Him immediately, until the right moment when they eventually get the revelation: “It’s Jesus”. As we’ve just read above, that’s what happened to the beloved Disciple John whilst in the boat. Everyone else had their eyes on the Miracle, but John was focused upon the Miracle Maker.

It’s always going to be the friends of Jesus who’ll get the REVELATIONS. This is something that’s true throughout the whole Bible, it’s the friends of God, that He chooses to reveal His secret plans: Moses, David, Abraham, Elijah, etc… So I’m going to ask you that question unashamedly today: “How much of a close friend of Jesus are you?” One of the ways to know is this; how obedient are you being to Jesus commands? (see yesterday’s reading). You see my friends, we’ll also get a revelation of who we are when we come to Jesus. We’ll know that He loves us and we love Him. We’ll know that He loves us, WHEN we love Him with all our heart, mind, soul and strength. We can only love Him like that with the HELP of the HELPER, the Holy Spirit who indwells every true follower and believer.

It’s the friends of the LORD who’ll get His Revelations.

The Fallen Believer Runs To Jesus:

Notice secondly the impulsive Peter: Every time I read this portion of John’s Gospel, a great big smile comes over my face. I always think “I want to be like Peter” I want to run to the Lord, to be rushing up to Jesus. Upon hearing the news from John, that the person who’d told them to cast the net, the one standing on the shore, was Jesus, you’ll note that Peter does two things:

First: Peter Puts on His Outer Garment:

It’s an amazing few words; “he wrapped his outer garment around him (for he had taken it off)”. Why did Peter feel the need to put on his outer garments? He’d have been naked from the waist-up: Reminds me of Builders working on site on a hot summer’s day when I was a boy, they’d all be lying around with their shirts off at lunch-time. Peter, had obviously taken it off because working the net was much easier without the clothing getting in the way. However, what was it that made him put it on? Well, many have speculated different reasons, but I believe it was like Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, who hearing the Lord’s footsteps in the Garden after eating the forbidden fruit run away and hide. Then the Lord makes clothing for them, for they were naked. It’s SHAME that Peter feels my friends, for he knew he’d sinned when he betrayed the Lord Jesus. When Peter denied the Lord three times and the cock crowed, it was then that he remembered the Lord’s words, warning that he’d deny him. Now Peter is ashamed when he hears John’s words, “It’s the Lord” and tries to cover up his shameful nakedness. He’s aware of his sinful condition before the Holy and Righteous Lord Jesus Christ.

From the Miracles to the Miracle Maker

That shame is what we experience sometimes when we’ve been living in sin. We too want to run and hide ourselves away from the Lord. That’s why so many fallen Christians won’t come back to church, they know that in the company of other believers, the Lord is likely to show up and make Himself known to them. They’d rather stay at home safe from the presence of the Lord.

That shame is also why non-believers refuse to come to the Saviour. It’s because they love sin and they are ashamed and frightened that their evil deeds will be exposed. Of course no sinner would articulate it that way, we only know this by God’s revelation on so many places in the Bible.

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

Peter had to put on his outer clothing to cover up, it was in instinctive thing, something that the Police know when they are interviewing suspects. When someone is guilty, they’ll try and put something in front of them; their hand over their mouth, something between the interviewer and the suspect. So sinners need to try and hide behind something in God’s presence. That’s what Peter was doing when He heard it was Jesus, trying to cover up his sinful, shameful nakedness. Have you ever felt exposed when you heard a Sermon that hits home to where you’ve been sinning in life? I have and I just wanted to hide in the pew. God knows how to get to our hearts doesn’t he, but His purpose in doing so is always to restore us and clean us up so we can be of further useful service in His Kingdom.

However, even though Peter’s natural instinct is to hide his sinful, shameful nakedness, he does something extraordinary next;

Next: Peter Dives Into The Water:

Yes my friends, that’s the sinner diving into the water to get to Jesus faster than the boat is able to carry him. Peter can’t wait for the boat to get to the shore, so he jumps into the water because he’s desperate to get to Jesus. No thought is given to the others who need to tow the net full of fish ashore, now Peter knows that it’s Jesus, all he can do is get to Him as fast as he can.

This is one of my favourite passages in the whole Bible my friends, I just LOVE Peter. Because it reveals part of what happened to me and many other brothers and sisters I’ve known since I started following Jesus. When I realised just how much a sinner I was, how I’d fallen short of God’s Holy Standards, How I’d broken His commandments, there is nothing else that I could possibly do to remove the stain of sin in my soul. None of my good works would balance the scales of God’s Justice, sin must be punished or purged and I knew it. Unless I responded to the call of the Gospel, I knew I was headed for hell. But then I responded the Good News, “I don’t need to suffer God’s wrath and anger against my sins, I could trust in Jesus.” I knew I didn’t deserve Jesus’ forgiveness, but I knew that I could be forgiven, because of Jesus love for me. So many of my friends had turned to Jesus as well, they know they don’t deserve God’s amazing grace, but He gives it freely to all who will come to Him in Repentance and Faith in Jesus Christ. Once I knew what to do, and why I needed to do it, nothing on earth would have stopped me trusting in Jesus Christ for Salvation.

That’s what Peter was doing, He was coming to Jesus as fast as his body could carry him. He know Jesus was the ONLY way to be saved. My friends, I’ve actually seen people RUNNING down to the front of church to give their lives to Jesus, when they Holy Spirit convicted them of their need of The Saviour. I’m going to encourage you to listen to His voice today; to be like Peter, to be like my friends and so many that I’ve seen. I’m going to encourage you to come running to Jesus Christ right now. Don’t listen to your brain, be impulsive and just do it. Come!

From the Miracles of the Catch of Fish and the Un-burstable Nets: Peter comes running to the Resurrected Miracle Maker: The Lord Jesus Christ.

When they get to the Miracle Maker, they find the fish cooking and He’s giving them bread and fish.

Jesus wants to eat with you too my friends, to have fellowship with you. To be in your company and to provide for your nourishment in life. Oh what a glory it is today, to get this awesome awareness that Jesus is right inside you… Word’s can’t explain. But you need to try hard and take your eyes off the miracles and mover from the miracles to the miracle maker.

Imagine though, if your church was to have a fellowship breakfast on the beach with fish cooking on the fire: how many would show up? I’d be in that number as quick as a flash 🙂

Points to Ponder:

  • When was the last time you KNEW Jesus was with you?
  • How quick are you to recognise the voice of the Lord in your life?
  • Tomorrow, we’ll see that after the breakfast Jesus takes Peter aside and has a conversation about His love and devotion. Today let’s ponder on what we’ve been thinking about:

Jesus performs a Miracle in order to reveal Himself to His closest friends, and then because He knows they a tired from fishing all night, Jesus provides a meal of fish and bread for them to eat with Him. He’s right there today with you my friends. He loves you so much and wants you to experience His presence. That means not just knowing about Jesus, but actually getting your own revelation that He’s actually with you by His Spirit.

Prayer:

Dear Lord Jesus Christ; Thank you so much for who You are, how You reveal Yourself to us and how it happened with the first followers. Please help me to recognise Your interventions in my life quickly, help me not to focus so much on the Miracles that I miss the Miracle Maker, it’s Your face that I long for more than the Miracles You can perform. Help me to realise that being in Your presence is far more precious than anything else that I can have or that will happen in my life. Amen.

Have an awesome Saturday, relax as much as you can, because the LORD needs you tomorrow to Worship, to Fellowship, to Encourage you and build you up and to strengthen one another in the faith. I’ll see you on Sunday 🙂 I hope and pray you’ll get closer to Jesus today. Don.

40 Days With Jesus: Day 25: From the Miracles to the Miracle Maker.

The Three Crowns

Daily Spirit & Word, 466: The Three Crowns.

No it’s not the pub 🙂

Nor the united Kingdoms of England, Scotland and Wales.

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

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

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

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

A CROWN OF LIFE:

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

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

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

A CROWN OF REJOICING:

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

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

A CROWN OF GLORY:

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

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

The LORD’S Crown Jewels:

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

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

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

Have an awesome Saturday and look forward to the GLORY.

Don.

 

Five Ways To Be Remembered

Daily Spirit & Word

452: Five Ways For Christians To Be Remembered.

Good morning my friends, don’t you just love Friday’s? It marks the end of the working week and the prospect of a day of rest for most. I know there are many who don’t enjoy the luxury of a day off and I even know a few who work seven days a week. However, there are good reasons for taking a day off and having a good rest from your normal labours. The principal one being, we don’t want to drive ourselves into an early grave by being overworked, overstressed.  There are also many good reasons; reconnecting relationships with loved ones and with brothers and sisters in the faith and also taking time out to worship the Lord.
Over the years since becoming a follower of Jesus, I remember with fondness many brothers and sisters who’ve died and gone to be with Him. What is it about them that warms my heart today? Their love for the Lord, their devotion to the things of God and their love and warmth for all people; Christians and non-Christians. When its your turn to leave this earth and go home to glory, you’ll be remembered by your friends and family, but what will they remember you for?
Think about Jesus; because Christians are being transformed daily into the likeness of Christ. What was Jesus remembered for? His complete obedience, even to death upon the cross. His powerful miracles and the fact that He didn’t charge people but healed them freely. His attitude to those on the margins of society, sinners and social rejects, Jesus took time to be with them and was scandalised for it. His ways with people from all walks of life; rich and poor, men and women, old and infant. Most of all we probably remember Jesus for His LOVE, CARE, MESSAGE OF TRUTH, AND DEDICATION TO THE FATHER’S WILL.
Today’s Focus On God’s Word:
Titus 2:11-15 “For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men. It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, while we wait for the blessed hope—the glorious appearing of our great God and Saviour, Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good. These, then, are the things you should teach. Encourage and rebuke with all authority. Do not let anyone despise you.”
And: TRANSFORMATION: 2 Corinthians 3:16-18
“But whenever anyone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.”
Here are some things every follower of Jesus should strive for and become TOP priorities in our lives.

1) REMEMBERED FOR BEING A CHRISTIAN—1 Tim. 2:4

What a Christian is? Someone who’s Trusted in Jesus death for their sins upon the Cross, who’s believed in Jesus, who’s repented of their sins and forsaken them, who’s been born again of God’s Holy Spirit, who knows Jesus as Lord and Saviour, who’s a committed member of a local fellowship of Saints and is serving the Lord with their gifts and talents and who gives wholeheartedly to the fellowship.
How to become a Christian? Believe in Jesus, Repent of sin and Receive Him as Lord: Then you will be born of the Spirit.
What it means to be a Christian? You’ll love God, love the saints and love those who don’t yet know Jesus as Lord. You’ll be filled with His compassion for others, meeting their needs and serving with your life.

2) REMEMBERED FOR YOUR DEDICATION TO GOD: Rom. 12:1-2

The Foundation of Your Dedication: Love, obedience, praise and devotion for Jesus.
The Character of Your Dedication: voluntary, wholehearted, sacrificial, practical, disciplined.
The Results of Your Dedication: Known to be Blessed by the Lord, loved by the saints and sinners.

3) REMEMBERED FOR YOUR LOVE FOR THE SAINTS:

(See 37 List at bottom of page).

“by your LOVE for one another, people will know you belong to Christ”.
  • Your Friendships:
  • Your Attitude:
  • Your Care:

4) REMEMBERED FOR YOUR LOVE OF BRINGING OTHERS TO JESUS: Psa. 126

  • Your Obedience to the Lord’s Commands: Matthew 28:18-20; Acts 1:8; Mark 16:15-20.
  • You’ll Cry For Their Predicament: Luke 16:19-28 (The Rich Man and Lazarus).
  • You’ll be Guided by the Holy Spirit: Acts 16:6-9.
  • Your Zeal to reach out: Acts 2; 1 Cor 9:16 (How horrible it is when I don’t reach-out to others and preach the Gospel).

5) REMEMBERED FOR YOUR HEAVENLY FOCUS: Titus 2:13

“How we wait for the blessed hope…”

  • You KNOW Jesus is Comings Soon:
  • You DESIRE Jesus to either come or be with Him forever.
  • Your FOCUS is upon the Blessings when He Comes.
  • You LIVE your whole life; preapered for His coming or your going Home.
  • You KNOW this earth is NOT your home.

452 Five Ways Christian

There are probably many, many more, but as you are transformed into the Likeness of Jesus daily, you can’t help but become more powerful, prayerful, practical, resourceful, holy and full of love for God, for brothers and sisters in the faith and for those who don’t yet know Jesus Christ as Lord.

Today’s Focus On God’s Word:

Titus 2:11-15 “For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men. It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, while we wait for the blessed hope—the glorious appearing of our great God and Saviour, Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good. These, then, are the things you should teach. Encourage and rebuke with all authority. Do not let anyone despise you.”
How will you be remembered when you leave the earth?
Don’t worry what others think about you, but think of the eternal rewards you are storing up in Heaven as you serve the Lord Jesus today.
Have an awesome weekend my friends, I’m really looking forward to gathering with my brothers and sisters again on Sunday to praise ans worship the Lord Jesus in the power of the Holy Spirit. Wherever you are my prayers are with you. Stay blessed and walk closely with Jesus today. Don’t forget to PRAISE Him, Love Him and you’ll be full of His Love for others too.
Don.

Notes: Helps:

Here are 37 ways Christians can LOVE one another.

  1. Be devoted to one another (Rom. 12:10).
  2. Give preference to one another (Rom. 12:10).
  3. Be of the same mind toward one another (Rom. 12:16).
  4. Accept one another by withholding judgment (Rom. 14:1).
  5. Accept one another by showing deference (Rom. 14:1–5; 15:7).
  6. Esteem [highly regard] one another in love (Rom. 14:5; Phil. 2:3).
  7. Build up one another (Rom. 14:19; 1 Thes. 5:11).
  8. Counsel one another (Rom. 15:14).
  9. Serve one another by showing deference in matters of liberty (Gal. 5:13).
  10. Bear one another’s sin burdens (Gal. 6:2).
  11. Be gentle with one another (Eph. 4:2).
  12. Be kind to one another so as to preserve unity (Eph. 4:32).
  13. Speak truth to one another (Eph. 4:25; Col 3:9).
  14. Submit to one another (Eph. 5:21).
  15. Show compassion to one another (Col. 3:12).
  16. Bear with the inherent sinfulness of one another (Col. 3:13).
  17. Forgive one another (Col. 3:13).
  18. Use Spirit-filled, Word-saturated music to teach and admonish one another (Col. 3:16; Eph. 5:19).
  19. Comfort one another with the hope of Christ’s return (1 Thes. 4:18).
  20. Encourage one another (1 Thes. 5:11).
  21. Live in peace with one another (1 Thes. 5:13).
  22. Seek good for one another (1 Thes. 5:15).
  23. Encourage one another to forsake unbelief and hardness of heart (Heb. 3:13).
  24. Stimulate one another to spiritual growth (Heb. 10:24).
  25. Encourage one another by faithful participation in your local church (Heb. 10:25).
  26. Confess sins to one another (James 5:16).
  27. Pray for one another’s spiritual and physical healing (James 5:16).
  28. Be long-suffering and patient toward one another (1 Peter 4:8; Eph. 4:2).
  29. Be hospitable to one another without complaint (1 Peter 4:9).
  30. Serve one another (1 Peter 4:10; Gal. 5:13).
  31. Act in humility toward one another (1 Peter 5:5).
  32. Show holy affection to one another (1 Peter 5:14).
  33. Participate in the holy walk with one another (1 John 1:7).
  34. Refuse to become resentful toward one another (1 John 3:11–12).
  35. Give sacrificially to meet one another’s needs (1 John 3:16–17).
  36. Fight fear together by growing in love (1 John 4:18).
  37. Walk in truth together (1 John 3:18; 2 John 1:5).
Daily Spirit & Word.
[wowslider id=”2″]
Five Way To Be Remembered.

Grandmother and Mother’s Sincere Faith

Grandmother and Mother’s Sincere Faith.

 

The Church Today NEEDS faithful, Praying, Grandmothers, Mums, Dads and Granddads.
The Church Today NEEDS faithful, Praying, Grandmothers, Mums, Dads and Granddads.

Daily Spirit & Word, 445: Grandmother and Mother’s Sincere Faith.

The Church today needs more faithful Grandmothers and Mothers, who’ll be able to ignite the faith of Jesus Christ in their children and grandchildren.

Good morning my friends, I was really encouraged this morning reading through 2 Timothy, by Paul’s devotion to praying for him and the way that Paul was encouraging Timothy in so many ways. The things that jumped out at me were having people in our lives who are inspirations to keep us going, examples that we can follow and emulate and encouragements to know that because God was active in their lives, He’ll also be with us on the journey too.

2 Timothy 1:3-7

“I thank God, whom I serve, as my forefathers did, with a clear conscience, as night and day I constantly remember you in my prayers. Recalling your tears, I long to see you, so that I may be filled with joy. I have been reminded of your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and, I am persuaded, now lives in you also. For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands. For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.”

 Faithful In Prayer:

When children observe a Mother praying at home regularly. When she has a sincere faith it will leave a life-long impression upon her children and even her grandchildren.

 Firstly notice Paul’s own Faithfulness in Prayer:

“I thank God, who I serve, as my forefathers did, with a clear conscience, as night and day I constantly remember you in my prayers.”
Paul’s remembering back to his faithful praying ancestors: It’s good for us as Christians to have heroes of the faith, men and women of prayer who’ve served the Lord Jesus Christ faithfully in all kinds of circumstances. When I was a young Christian some old saint gave me a book and said, “Read this, pray about it and ask God to help you to be a Christian like some of these were”. I took that book with me to sea and read it upon my bunk on the Submarine hundreds of feet below the surface of the icy cold waters of the North Atlantic. I was, as far as I knew, the only Christian aboard. It soon became known that I was using a room on the Boat for prayers, for months no one joined me. Then a young man, Shawn Frow, gave his life to the Lord and we began to meet almost every day; to pray, read the Bible and sing and praise the Lord. Me upon my guitar and he with faltering voice because he’d never sang hymns of praise in his life before. I shared the contents of the book with Sean and together we marvelled at the old saints. We were encouraged aboard a boat full of unrepentant sinners to be faithful to the Lord in all things and to be His witnesses. People began to be interested and requested the Bibles that took up half my bunk. I’d intended to give them away to folks, but it didn’t’ begin happening until young Shawn became a believer and we prayed together about it.

 

When you think about FAITHFUL Christians and how they served the Lord and what the Lord did through their lives, you too will be encouraged in your own situations, you’ll be enthused to walk as Jesus did, in faith and power of the Holy Spirit. So I would encourage you to get to know the Saints of the past as Paul did, his “faithful praying ancestor”s. Even if you don’t have any in your own immediate family who love the Lord, then you have them in abundance in the Lord’s Family of believers. Read, study and meditate upon the lives of people like: George Muller, Isobel Khun, Billy Bray, David Brainerd, Robert Annan, David Wilkerson and Jackie Pullinger. Faithful saints who gave up the world to follow Jesus and it’ll blow-your-socks-off what Jesus did in and through their lives; but what was it that made them so great, such heroes of the faith? PRAYER and BEING WITH JESUS REGULARLY.

 

Heroes of the Fath: Susanna Wesley:

Here’s a little account of Susanna Wesley (The Mother of John and Charles Wesley, the Great Methodist Preachers and Hymn Writers).
“Since there were no afternoon church services, Susanna began an evening family gathering where they sang psalms, prayed and Susanna read a short sermon from her husband’s library. It began with the family and the servants but soon word spread and others neighbors appeared, and soon there were too many for the parsonage. Susanna had written her husband of what she was doing, but then in his own letter when he perhaps saw the services as competition, Mr. Inman complained to Samuel. His claim to Samuel was that such irregular services could cause criticism or even scandal for the church. For while women have been ordained in many Methodist churches for more than 50 years at that time the idea of a woman having any part in a worship service – even in her own home – was unheard of. Samuel suggested to Susanna that she have someone else read the sermons, but still Mr. Inman complained and finally Samuel told Susanna to discontinue the meetings. However, she declined as she described how the meetings were a genuine and effective ministry to those who attended and that Mr. Inman was about the only one who‘d objected. The services continued.” Taken from the site History’s Women Read more about Susanna by clicking the link.

 

NEXT Timothy is encouraged to do the same thing too: To remember the faithfulness of his own Grandmother and Mother. In an ideal world there would be generations of faithful relatives who loved the Lord Jesus, but I know that most people today, who come to faith, have very few of the Lord’s anointed in our families. My own mother became a Christian on her death-bed, my father became a Christian whilst in a coma; both of whom had been witnessed to by my brother Paul and I for years. We’d shared the Gospel, read the Bible, prayed for them, but they stubbornly refused to trust in Jesus, until they were in a desperate situation.

 

However, Timothy had that witness. I’ve found as I’ve studied Timothy that Paul must have regarded him as a bit timid a bit weak in his faith and frightened to carry out his commission. His letters to Timothy are so full of encouragement to be faithful, to keep going, to be prepared to suffer for the Gospel.

 

Sometimes, having faithful relatives and strong Christians in our family is NO guarantee that the faith they have will be shared by every member of the family. We meet people out on the streets of London every week who’ll say, “My grandmother was a woman of prayer”. As if that faithful old saint was enough, they didn’t need to do it themselves, because she did it for the whole family. I aways respond with “What about you?” Paul said, “I’m persuaded is in you”. He needed to be persuaded, to be convinced, to have it certified that Timothy really did have that same faith as his grandmother and mother. But he’d become convinced of it. Notice too that Paul was praying for Him day and night. I pray for my friends and some of you I pray for every single day, but I don’t pray for you DAY & NIGHT like Paul did for Timothy. He must have thought that Timothy needed his prayers, that something was lacking in his walk with Jesus.

 

There’s NO Second-Hand Faith in God’s Family.
I’ve found that when there’s been a very strong person of faith in a family, the rest of the family are not very fire-filled, they are like the Laodican Church in the book of Revelation; Luke Warm Believers. They don’t have the same kind of compulsion, zeal, commitment and drive to serve the Lord wholeheartedly. I’m not sure why that is, but it seems that a totally surrendered life and a faithful life to members of ones own family is a hindrance to those who live with them and know them personally. It’s like they depend upon the faith of the faith-filled rather than cultivate their own faith. I’ve known many Preachers children, great preachers and wonderful men and women of God, who’s own children’s faith is almost non-existent. I know they must be praying for them, witnessing to them and sharing Jesus with them constantly. But we must always bear in mind: “Remember there are no second-hand Christians in God’s Family.” We must all come to Saviour for ourselves. We are not Christians because our Grandmother or Mother was a believer. Perhaps Paul was wondering if Timothy really had been born-again of the Holy Spirit, he’d laid hands upon him to receive the gift, but wasn’t convinced it was a genuine conversion, because he’d not seen the evidence of it, but now he’s writing and he’s been persuaded and convinced (we don’t know how).

 

We do need faithful Mothers, Grandmothers, Brothers, Fathers, Sisters of the faith today; who’ll encourage family members, who’ll pray for their children and grandchildren, but who’ll also lead them to the Lord so that the children will be set on fire with love for Jesus too. 

 

My four year old granddaughter Leila is a natural evangelist. She lives in South London, in Thornton Heath, which is an area full of Muslims. She can identify a Muslim and said to me the other day, “That lady is a Muslim grandpa, but we’re Christians”. She was out shopping with her mother in Tesco and at the check-out asked the Teller “Are you a Muslim? I’m a Christian, I love Jesus. You should love Jesus too”… She’s only FOUR and is a bold as a lion. Her mother, my daughter, apologised for her and said to her, “You don’t ask people that!”. There’s NO second-hand faith in the family of God. Each and every individual needs to come on their own to Jesus Christ, in faith, in repentance and to take Him as their own Master, Lord and King.
 
I hope and pray that Timothy was faithful and continued in the faith, we just don’t know. Paul wanted him to “fan into flames” that gift of the Spirit. My friends, I want every Christian to be FULL OF FIRE OF THE LORD JESUS, AND FULL OF THE HOLY SPIRIT.

 

READ REVELATIONS:

No Second-Hand Faith in the Family of God.

Revelation 3:14-22 

14 “To the angel of the church in Laodicea write: These are the words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the ruler of God’s creation. 15  I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! 16  So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth. 17  You say, ‘I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’ But you do not realise that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked. 18  I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire, so that you can become rich; and white clothes to wear, so that you can cover your shameful nakedness; and salve to put on your eyes, so that you can see. 19  Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest, and repent. 20  Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me. 21  To him who overcomes, I will give the right to sit with me on my throne, just as I overcame and sat down with my Father on his throne. 22  He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”

 

As Paul said, “God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.”

 

My friends, the weekend is coming, keep going with Jesus, gather with the saints on Sunday, worship Him, Love Him, Serve Him. He’s with you, in you and will encourage you to keep going in the strength that He provides. Mothers, keep praying for your children, but lead them to the Saviour for themselves. Grandmothers, pray for your grand-kids that they’ll get the FIRE for themselves. The Church today desperately needs faithful, fire-filled Grandmothers and mums, dads and granddads.
 
Don.
 

Can also be read at St Luke’s Church Facebook Page.

 

 

The Church Today Needs The Sincere Faith and Prayers of Grandmothers and Mothers. Dads and Granddads.