The Kiss Of Death

Jesus Betrayal by Judas

Daily Spirit & Word, 476: The Kiss of Death.

Judas Iscariot: The Ultimate Baddie of the Bible: Gives The Kiss of Death to Jesus.

Good morning my friends, it’s Wednesday and we’re in Holy Week, so I thought I’d take a look at one of those people the Lord Jesus chose as one of His disciples, knowing that He’d betray Him: Judas Iscariot.

 Judas Iscariot & The Kiss of Death:

Judas Iscariot was, according to the New Testament, one of the twelve original disciples of Jesus Christ, and son of Simon Iscariot. He is known for the kiss and betrayal of Jesus to the Sanhedrin for thirty silver coins. Even today, people who know little about the Bible will use the name ‘Judas’ to accuse someone of betrayal. Though there are varied accounts of his death, the traditional version sees him as having hanged himself following the betrayal. His place among the Twelve Apostles was later filled by Matthias, who had been with Jesus from the time that Jesus was baptised by John in the River Jordan.

We all know or sometimes we think we know all about a person, but a lot of what we know about Judas today has little to do with Biblical reality, history or accuracy. He’s been portrayed as both the ultimate baddie and the lad who just didn’t quite make it, but was OK in the end, because he felt remorse for his betrayal of the Lord Jesus.

Who was Judas? He was one of the original 12 Disciples designated Apostles of the Lord Jesus Christ. He was the son of Simon Iscariot.

 Judas Was The Lord’s Treasurer:

He kept the money bag for the Lord’s work. He was the one who collected money and paid for Jesus ministry, food and lodgings etc…  John 12:6. However, when we look at that passage in context we get an indication of the kind of character that Jesus was; A Treasurer is a Trusted Position.

John 12:4-6 “But one of his disciples, Judas Iscariot, who was later to betray him, objected,
5  “Why wasn’t this perfume sold and the money given to the poor? It was worth a year’s wages.”
6  He did not say this because he cared about the poor but because he was a thief; as keeper of the money bag, he used to help himself to what was put into it.”

WOWzer! One of the Lord’s chosen was a THIEF as well as a betrayer. Imagine that, Judas is travelling around with the Messiah, he’s daily seeing people healed, delivered and brought back to life. He’s listening to all of Jesus’ teachings and yet in his heart he was far away from the Lord. The love of money had gripped his heart.

Satan Entered Judas:

Luke 22:3 (NIV) “Then Satan entered Judas, called Iscariot, one of the Twelve.”

My friends, Satan cannot get into you, unless you let him in.  Ephesians 4:27 (NIV) “and do not give the devil a foothold.” It’s like opening the door of your heart without first looking through the spy-hole to see who’s at the door, once we crack open the door we’re giving him a foothold into our life.

 

He comes when we are disobedient or rebellious to the Lord in some way. That’s what happened to Judas and it should serve as a warning to us all. Judas had already decided in his heart that he’d betray Jesus for money, long before Satan entered into him, it’s that decision and desire to betray, to plot evil, to plan murder, that allowed or enabled Satan to gain entry.

We allow Satan entry when we think, plan and plot with evil intent, not matter what the temptation is, and they can be strong at times, we must be aware of what’s at stake.

When did the other disciples catch-on that Judas was the betrayer?

It wasn’t until Jesus was kissed by Judas and arrested, but Jesus knew who he was and when he’d do it, before it happened and before Judas even thought about betraying Him. Imagine Jesus, when he was choosing the 12 originally, knowing that one of them was going to betray Him?

Judas’ Betrayal Predicted in the Bible.

We must realise that Judas’ betrayal of the Lord was predicted hundreds of years before he was born. This fact doesn’t take away Judas’ guilt or personal responsibility, because even though we’re all tempted by Satan, we’re going to be held accountable for the decisions we make, therefore Judas’ responsibility and guilt remains.

Acts 1:15-20 “During this time, when about 120 believers were together in one place, Peter stood up and addressed them.
16  “Brothers,” he said, “the Scriptures had to be fulfilled concerning Judas, who guided those who arrested Jesus. This was predicted long ago by the Holy Spirit, speaking through King David.
17  Judas was one of us and shared in the ministry with us.”
18  (Judas had bought a field with the money he received for his treachery. Falling headfirst there, his body split open, spilling out all his intestines.
19  The news of his death spread to all the people of Jerusalem, and they gave the place the Aramaic name Akeldama, which means “Field of Blood.”)
20  Peter continued, “This was written in the book of Psalms, where it says, ‘Let his home become desolate, with no one living in it.’ It also says, ‘Let someone else take his position.’”

The Psalms Peter is talking about (Confirmed by Paul) were Psalm 69:25 and 109:8. You’ll note from these Psalms that Judas is not mentioned by name, but the fact that he’d betray the Lord. Judas fulfilled Old Testament prophesy. But there are other Psalms that predict it more specifically; Psalm 41:9 (NIV) “Even my close friend, whom I trusted, he who shared my bread, has lifted up his heel against me.”

How Much Would It Take to Betray the LORD?

For Judas it was 30 pieces of silver:

Matthew 26:14-16 “Then one of the Twelve—the one called Judas Iscariot—went to the chief priests and asked, “What are you willing to give me if I hand him over to you?” So they counted out for him thirty silver coins. From then on Judas watched for an opportunity to hand him over.”

Just 30 Pieces of Silver: The life of Jesus for money. He’d been with Jesus for a long time and knew what Jesus was like, what possessed him to think that any amount of money was worth betraying the most gentle, loving, kind human being to ever walk the planet?

We can all be like Judas though, because whenever we choose to act, to speak or even think about evil sinful things, we’re choosing the pleasures of sin over and above our devotion and love for the Lord. 30 Pieces of Silver probably was a lot of money in those days, perhaps Judas thought he’d become rich, but the pleasures of sin are momentary, fleeting, like a mist, they don’t last and as we observe Judas bitterly regretted his betrayal of the Lord and took his own life in the end.

Proverbs 13:11 11  Dishonest money dwindles away, but he who gathers money little by little makes it grow.

You know my friends, the bible tells us that SIN leads to death: When SINFUL DESIRE is full grown: James 1:13-18 “When tempted, no-one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; 14  but each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed. 15  Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death. 16  Don’t be deceived, my dear brothers. 17  Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. 18  He chose to give us birth through the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of all he created.

Judas’ sinful desire for Money (The LOVE of Money is the root of all evil), led to his downfall. He’d been chosen by the Lord, given a fantastic opportunity to be alongside the most awesome person to set foot upon the earth, yet he chose money over a person’s life. Judas, even before Satan entered into him, was a wayward character.

He Dips His Bread In The Same Cup As The LORD:

Remember what Jesus said, “He who dips his bread in the cup”…

Mark 14:18-21 18  While they were reclining at the table eating, he said, “I tell you the truth, one of you will betray me—one who is eating with me.” 19  They were saddened, and one by one they said to him, “Surely not I?” 20  “It is one of the Twelve,” he replied, “one who dips bread into the bowl with me. 21  The Son of Man will go just as it is written about him. But woe to that man who betrays the Son of Man! It would be better for him if he had not been born.”

Dipping his bread in the same cup as the Lord: Only close friends would do that. I can’t imagine letting anyone dip their biscuit in my cup of coffee or tea, but a really good friend, I might consider it 🙂 Judas and all the Disciples were by now, very close and good friends of the Lord Jesus, yet he was going to betray the Lord. It would be better not to have been born than betray the Son of Man: The Lord Jesus Christ. Each time we’re tempted to wander away from the Lord, we should remember the cost of betrayal. “It would be better not to have been born”… There’s always going to be very BITTER REGRET.

The Kiss of Death

We must now turn to the actual act of betrayal: When Jesus revealed that one from among those He’d chosen would betray Him.

Luke 22:47-48 “While he was still speaking a crowd came up, and the man who was called Judas, one of the Twelve, was leading them. He approached Jesus to kiss him, 48  but Jesus asked him, “Judas, are you betraying the Son of Man with a kiss?”

A kiss of greeting between good friends is a wonderful thing, it denotes great closeness, fondness and fellowship. So much of what Judas did as a disciple has entered into folk-lore and there are so many sayings for Betrayal linked directly back to what Judas did when he betrayed our Lord Jesus.

Saints Who Give the Kiss of Death to Jesus:

We’ve all seen brothers and sisters who’ve been like Judas, who’ve wandered away from the Lord because of the pleasures of sin and the deceitfulness of wealth. Ministers who once had a thriving ministry with powerful signs and wonders accompanying, then they gave into the pride of life, the deceitfulness of wealth or sexual sins. Satan loves nothing more than to draw our affections away from Jesus and serving in His Kingdom to other things. In the beginning those things can look good or innocent, but when they take our time, talents and treasures away from the Lord’s work, they’ll lead to our downfall like Judas. Let’s not be found guilty of giving The Kiss of Death to our walk with Jesus.

My friends, don’t let anything you do be The Kiss of Death to your relationship with the LORD.

I’m praying that I won’t be a Judas, that I won’t ever offer the Kiss of Death, pretending close affinity, but inwardly filled with evil intent. That the Lord will so fill me with His Holy Spirit and my will and heart’s desire will always be to walk in righteousness and holiness with Him. I’m also praying that for all my friends and everyone reading this today. It’s so easy to be a Judas and only realise later and bitterly regret that you’ve betrayed the Lord. Satan, the World and our own sinful flesh are so deceptive and enticing, LORD help us to live always for you and not for our own pleasures because we know that it will be the Kiss of Death to all our relationships but most importantly with You Lord. Amen!

Have an Awesome day with Jesus.
Don.

When Judas betrayed Jesus, it was with The Kiss of Death.

 

Be Strong and Courageous

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 Joshua was very strong and courageous.

Peter and John were courageous.

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

WHY?

Because they spent TIME with the LORD JESUS CHRIST.

And God was with them.

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

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

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

He’s with you to the end my friends.

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

Don.

Be Strong and Courageous.

 

Flesh and Spirit at War

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

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

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

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

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

 The Struggle Against Sin:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

 Pockets of Resistance:

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Reality:

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

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

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

Conclusion:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Every blessing,

Don.

 

The Three Crowns

Daily Spirit & Word, 466: The Three Crowns.

No it’s not the pub 🙂

Nor the united Kingdoms of England, Scotland and Wales.

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

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

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

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

A CROWN OF LIFE:

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

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

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

A CROWN OF REJOICING:

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

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

A CROWN OF GLORY:

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

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

The LORD’S Crown Jewels:

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

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

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

Have an awesome Saturday and look forward to the GLORY.

Don.

 

Kingdom Greatness

Daily Spirit & Word, 463: Kingdom Greatness.

©Daily Spirit & Word. © www.spiritandword.co.uk

Good morning my friends, it’s Wednesday and we’re going to focus today upon being great in God’s Kingdom. I love that old song, “If you want to be great in God’s Kingdom, learn to be the servant of all”

We all want to be significant in the eyes of others and competition for recognition is nothing new, even amongst the followers of Jesus Christ, there were those who, before they were born of the Spirit, didn’t quite grasp the true nature of the Kingdom of God. It’s almost amusing that Jesus confounds the wisdom of this world by turning what it values most upon it’s head and saying this is now much better.

It’s like a fashion expert telling us that white is the new black 🙂 Or red is the new green.

Jesus said, that to be GREAT in God’s Kingdom, you must become the servant of ALL (of everyone).

 Worldly Greatness:

Normally, when you think of great people, you think how they are served by a host of servants; they’ll be driven places by a Chauffeur, they’ll be welcomed into their home by a Butler or House Manager. They’ll have a bath run for them by a personal servant, they’ll even have their back scrubbed by another servant. The cook will prepare meals for them, the gardener will look after flowers and the grounds. Personal assistants will ensure you never need to go into shops again. Wherever you go people bow down before you and sometimes tremble in your presence, because of your majestic greatness.

Now imagine, being with Jesus and recognising His GREATNESS, then asking if you can be one of His special people, his right-hand-man. Well that’s what the mother of two of Jesus Disciple wanted for her sons. It’s obvious they wanted it too as you’ll see from the passage below;

Matthew 20:20-28 Then the mother of Zebedee’s sons came to Jesus with her sons and, kneeling down, asked a favour of him. 21  “What is it you want?” he asked. She said, “Grant that one of these two sons of mine may sit at your right and the other at your left in your kingdom.” 22  “You don’t know what you are asking,” Jesus said to them. “Can you drink the cup I am going to drink?” “We can,” they answered. 23  Jesus said to them, “You will indeed drink from my cup, but to sit at my right or left is not for me to grant. These places belong to those for whom they have been prepared by my Father.” 24  When the ten heard about this, they were indignant with the two brothers. 25  Jesus called them together and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. 26  Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, 27  and whoever wants to be first must be your slave— 28  just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

Here we see three people seeking greatness in the eyes of others: A mother and her two sons. They wanted to be viewed and thought about as SPECIAL, Important, Selected, Preferred, best-loved, chosen, favoured, favourite, preferable, preferential. Over and above their already privileged calling as Jesus’ Apostles.

 Who were these sons of Zebedee?

This account is repeated almost word for word in Mark’s Gospel, but in his account we’re told expressly who the sons of Zebedee are; James and John. Mark 10:35-45.

What do we know of James and John? They did indeed become great in God’s Kingdom, but they also became two of the most blessed servants the church has ever known. Their greatness didn’t come about by LORDING it over people, but serving the brothers and sisters; James in Jerusalem and John gave us awesome teaching in his Gospel and the 1, 2 and 3 John and the book of Revelation.

John became known as the beloved Disciple, he was the closest friend of Jesus whilst Jesus was on the earth. He took to heart what Jesus said, and this gentle rebuke of the Saviour took hold in his life.

Before James and John, the sons of Zebedee came to Jesus, with their mother as Matthew records, Jesus had already explained that Kingdom Greatness comes from service towards others; Mark 9:33-35 They came to Capernaum. When he was in the house, he asked them, “What were you arguing about on the road?” 34  But they kept quiet because on the way they had argued about who was the greatest. 35  Sitting down, Jesus called the Twelve and said, “If anyone wants to be first, he must be the very last, and the servant of all.”

So my friends, it’s true in every sphere of life: At work, in the home and in your community. If you want to be GREAT then we must learn to become the SERVANTS of everyone. No matter who they are.

St Paul’s Service in God’s Kingdom:

  • Acts 20:25-31 25 “Now I know that none of you among whom I have gone about preaching the kingdom will ever see me again.
    26 Therefore, I declare to you today that I am innocent of the blood of all men.
    27  For I have not hesitated to proclaim to you the whole will of God.
    28  Keep watch over yourselves and all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers. Be shepherds of the church of God, which he bought with his own blood.
    29  I know that after I leave, savage wolves will come in among you and will not spare the flock.
    30  Even from your own number men will arise and distort the truth in order to draw away disciples after them.
    31  So be on your guard! Remember that for three years I never stopped warning each of you night and day with tears.

You know, without first coming to Jesus Christ and submitting to His Kingship or Lordship, you’ll never be a servant in His Kingdom. I’ve seen people try and they always end up bitter about others, they’ll try and serve in humility, but without Christ in our hearts we’ll become frustrated, tired and bitter towards others who don’t appreciate what we’re doing for them. We’ll get exhaused and begin to moan about others. My friends, when you are serving Christ, you’ll never get tired of His Kingdom Service, because you know deep down you are not doing it for recognition or greatness, you are serving others out of appreciation for all that Christ has done for you. He’ll fill your heart with His love for people and you’ll just serve, no matter what the response is from others, you’ll keep serving, because you are not trying to win their approval or respect or praise, you’re serving a much higher and more noble calling; You are serving God’s Kingdom.

You’ll serve wherever you are:

  • At HOME: You’ll be the best husband, the most loving, patient, kind and gentle man.
  • At HOME: You’ll be a wife who loves to serve and take care of her family, not counting the cost, because you are serving Jesus.
  •  At WORK: You’ll be the best employee the company has ever had. You’ll try your best, you’ll serve your collegaues rather than climb over them. You’ll make certain that your boss never fails. All because you are not serving the company or for reward, but you are serving Jesus Christ.
  •  In the COMMUNITY: Your neighbours will know they can come to you and ask for help. You’ll be there for everyone and you’ll help them whenever you can. You’ll be generous with your time, your talents and your money for your neighbours. All because you are serving the Kingdom and the King of Kings.  
  • In the WORLD: You’ll look for ways to help people, make peace, fight for justice, promote fairness and look after those who cannot look after themselves. You’ll never look down on anyone and you’ll think of others as better than you.

We’ll do all of this willingly and full of joy and praise and peace, because we’ve learned what it means to be the Servant of All: We’ve become more like Jesus Christ and we’re full of the Holy Spirit and love.

My friends, How is your Kingdom Service?

“If anyone wants to be first, he must be the very last, and the servant of all.”

If you need a heart to serve better today, then can I encourage you to come to the King of Kings, the Lord Jesus Christ and learn from Him, for He is gentle and kind and will show you what it means to serve and not count the cost.

Have a blessed day in the Service of the Kingdom. Glorify Jesus with the way you live as a servant of all.

Don.

Kingdom Greatness.

 

A Word In Season

Daily Spirit & Word, 462: A Word In Season.

Bible Memorisation: Benefit #7 Usefulness in the Kingdom of God.

Good morning my friends, it’s a cold, wet March morning here in London, but I’m back in the study ready to praise and worship the Lord. Today we’re on the final Benefit of Bible Memorisation, but I thought it good to just remind ourselves of what we’ve looked at so far;

  • Benefit #1: Goodness comes from the Good you store up in your heart.
  • Benefit #2: Knowing How to Use the Sword: God’s Word. And the benefit of the Helmet of Salvation.
  • Benefit #3: Knowing God’s Word Gives Believers True Hope and Peace For Times of Despair.
  • Benefit #4: Divine Expectations: Eating not for one or two but for thousands of souls.
  • Benefit #5: It’s an Anchor for the Soul: Fastened to the Rock, the Lord Jesus Christ.
  • Benefit #6: We’re only as strong as our weakest link: In the Chain that leads to the Anchor.

Now we come onto the Seventh Benefit: But to be honest, I could think of Seven Hundred Benefits of Storing God’s Word in your heart 🙂 However, Seven gives us something manageable.

 Benefit #7: You’ll Be Useful in the Service of the Kingdom: A Word in Season.

Since I’ve been a very young Christian, I’ve gotten into the habit of getting up early to spend time with my Lord Jesus. I do that because I’m a weak Christian and I know how much I need the Lord every day. I also do it because since 1984 I’ve gotten to know the Lord and how His Word impacts my life and the life of others around about me. He gives me words in season, it’s like everything that happens, every conversation or event is filtered through God’s Word. He brings to mind the right word when it’s needed. He also reveals His secrets to those who love Him; His friends. It’s such a privilege and a joy to be used by the Lord to help others into His Kingdom and to build others up whose flame is flickering in the winds of trouble and hardship.

You too will be useful in the service of the Kingdom when you store up God’s Word in your heart, He’ll give you a Word in Season for others too. Don’t underestimate how POWERFUL knowing God’s Word can be. I remember reading a book by Jack Deere “Surprised by the voice of the Spirit”… He was a wonderful man of God, highly educated and knew the Bible inside-out, but one day he was given the task of taking Sunday School, He thought with all his Bible knowledge it would be a breeze, he’d be able to answer any of the children’s questions. Well it didn’t go quite like that, because the children asked practical questions about why God did stuff and why He allowed certain things; Jack was stumped and went home and repented of his pride and arrogance. He asked the Lord to help him to be better equipped to assist the children, then came the voice of the Spirit.

Once, years later he was in his office at Theological College, and a student came into the office who’d been struggling with his course work. When Jack looked at him he got a picture of a banner over his head with the word; “Pornography” written upon it. Jack had gained wisdom from years of spending time in God’s Word, in prayer and knowing Jesus, and he knew enough not to just blurt it out. He asked the student if he was struggling with things? He said in a hushed voice, “Yes Professor Jack”… Jack said, “Is there anything blocking your access to Jesus?” (or something like that) The student blurted it all out, his struggles with pornography etc through tears the student repented and turned again to the Lord.

My friends, you’ll get words from the Lord in Season; A few weeks ago a woman in our fellowship was given a word from the Lord; “Let the children worship”: We thought we were quite good at being inclusive in our worship times, but we were neglecting the children’s full involvement in every aspect of our gatherings. So we’ve repented and we’re encouraging the kids who come regularly, who love the Lord, to be involved in prayers, Bible reading, singing and playing instruments: not just a All Age Worship Services, but every week. The Word: “Suffer little children to come unto me, and do not hinder them, for their’s is the Kingdom of Heaven”.  Praise the Lord for His WORDS in Season and for giving us ears to hear.

Here’s the WORD for today;

Isaiah 50:4-7  “The Sovereign LORD has given me an instructed tongue, to know the word that sustains the weary. He wakens me morning by morning, wakens my ear to listen like one being taught. 5  The Sovereign LORD has opened my ears, and I have not been rebellious; I have not drawn back. 6  I offered my back to those who beat me, my cheeks to those who pulled out my beard; I did not hide my face from mocking and spitting. 7  Because the Sovereign LORD helps me, I will not be disgraced. Therefore have I set my face like flint, and I know I will not be put to shame.”

Can you recognise who Isaiah is talking about? It is of course a prophetic word about the Messiah, the Lord Jesus Christ. Remember how he was mocked, spat upon, beaten etc… Yet those words are also prophetically true for every single BELIEVER who trusts in the Lord Jesus Christ. How? Well the Lord will awaken you in the mornings, He’ll awaken you and give you an ear to listen, like one being taught. You’ll learn from the LORD Himself as you set your face like flint to serve the Lord God Almighty with your life. The more you store God’s Word in your heart and life, the more He’ll use you in the Service of His Kingdom.

Getting God’s Word Inside Your Head: Means taking time to be with the Lord, in His Word, in Prayer, in Praise, in the Spirit. Once you’ve started, you’ll never want to stop, because you’ll see quickly how the Lord will use you for service in His Kingdom.

Yes my friends, by getting to know the Lord and His Word you are useful for Service in God’s Kingdom, but how?

It will keep you; Pure, you’ll have the ready sword of the Lord, you’ll remain fixed to the Anchor the Lord Jesus Christ, because you’ll always be aware of your need for Him. You’ll experience His hope and peace in times of despair. He’ll fill your heart with Divine Expectations that you’ll want and know how much God wants all people to come to know Him as you do, you’ll be filled with His compassion and love for all people, you’ll be transformed into the likeness of God’s Son Jesus Christ daily as you come to Him in His Word. You CAN do it! Begin today!

 Matthew 6:33 Kingdom Service. Seek First The Kingdom of God.

The LORD know ALL of your needs my friends, but He’s commanded us to seek first His Kingdom. To put it in first priority order in our lives and then He’ll give us everything else that we need to survive. He’ll also reveal to you the secrets of the Kingdom.

Matthew 6:25-34 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? 26  Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27  Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? 28  “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labour or spin. 29  Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendour was dressed like one of these. 30  If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? 31  So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32  For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33  But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34  Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

 Is God’s Kingdom First Priority in your life today?

God bless and have a great day with the Lord. Keep singing and praising Him all day long.

My song that’s been in my head since I woke up is, “I’ve got Joy, Joy, Joy, Joy, deep in my heart. Deeep in my heart, Deep in my heart…” 🙂 I’m praising the Lord now.

Don.

 

NOTE:

The Bible Memory Training Course

Many people tell me; “Oh I’ve got a bad memory, I can’t retain facts, it’s too hard to commit to memory” etc, etc… But I can prove very quickly that no matter how old you are, you’ve got a wonderfully functioning memory. It’s a gift from Father God who made you.

 

  1. A) You can remember you house number right? How did you learn that? You know where the number is on the door or gate of your house. You can see the number in your head and you’ve probably touched it and remember what it feels like. That’s HOW we begin to train ourselves to remember the Bible.
  2. B) You can remember all your brothers and sisters, your children and grandchildren’s names can’t you? Yes because you’ve built up a moving picture of them in your mind. You can see them running, smiling, and saying stuff to you. You know them and can see them and you remember their names. If you use your imagination you even know what they smell like. That’s how we can train our minds to remember anything.
  3. C) You can remember, sometimes where you parked your car? LOL. I know, I even forget where I parked if I’m in deep conversation with someone, we seem to go into automatic and close the door and walk away and immediately forget what floor of the car park we were on. But when you take time to take note, you’ll find your car instantly.
  4. D) You don’t need to write a single thing down again, shopping lists can be a thing of the past. For years I’ve been able to instantly recall lists of upto 50 or 100 things, it’s just training and practice. I learned an awesome little technique that we’re going to share with everybody soon on our little Bible Memory Course.

However, when I’m attending a lecture or a seminar, I always take notes. It helps me to think through what the speaker is saying and aids recall later, but once I’ve learned something, it seems to stay with me forever.

It doesn’t require endless repetition of verses over and over again. After a while, you’ll be able to commit verses to memory quickly and it will take a fraction of a second to review those verses. Our minds are not limited by time, we can instantly recall facts, times, dates, numbers and names. Even quicker than Google 🙂 You’ll never forget your first day at Secondary School or your first date with a boy or girl? You can see their faces and remember their smile and the perfume they wore? Why? Because they were SIGNIFICANT events in your life. Now all you have to do is train your brain to make everything you want to remember just as significant. It’s easy and once you begin to see the benefits of having a trained memory, you’ll never look back.

 

Benefit #7: You’ll Be Useful in the Service of the Kingdom: A Word in Season.

 

The Weakest Link

Daily Spirit & Word, 461: The Weakest Link.

“You are ONLY as STRONG as your WEAKEST Link”

Seven Benefits of Bible Memorisation.

Benefit #6 Knowing God’s Word Helps To Maintaining My Purity.

“You are ONLY as STRONG as your WEAKEST Link”

On Saturday we talked about the Lord being the Anchor for your soul, today our focus is upon being able to maintain your purity as a Christian through Bible Memorisation. Bible Memory Training is good for the soul in so many wonderful ways. God’s Word encourages us to know ourselves, our weaknesses as well as our strengths.

The Anchor Chain:

You know that an Anchor is attached to a ship by a great big chain, with chunky links, but a chain is only as strong as it’s weakest link. It’s the same with you in your walk with Jesus. What weakness or weaknesses are there in your life that will keep you away from the Saviour.

Jesus was tempted in every area of personality by Satan and each time He was tested Jesus would quote a portion of God’s Word to combat Satan. He used the sword most effectively when at his weakest moments in life. When starving hungry, Satan tempted Jesus to turn stones into bread and he answered Satan by stating, “Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord”…

That’s what Satan is like, when you’ve been deprived of something that you need or think you need for survival he’ll come and offer you something on a plate, but know that when Satan is offering you something like that, it’s going to lead you away from your walk with Jesus. You see my friends, Satan’s purpose is to see you fall, fail and fracture, he wants to break your connection to the Anchor for your soul.

The Chain Is ONLY as STRONG as it’s WEAKEST LINK.

In your battle to maintain purity, you’ll need to get to know your weak areas and strengthen them.

When an Anchor Chain is suspected of having a weak link, those links are inspected and when one is found to be cracked or damages in some way, it’s either replaced or welded. When you weld a piece of metal, then that weld makes it stronger than every other part of the link.

Possible Weak Links:

You know my friends, every weakness and sin is covered in the Bible many times and the LORD has ensured that within His revelation to you and me, there’s a portion that deals with your WEAKEST LINKS.

  • If your weakest link is depression, then Psalm 40 and Psalm 42 will definitely help you.
  • If you weakest link is materialism and greed for the worlds things, then you’ve got 1 Timothy 6.
  • If your weakest link is anger or swearing with a foul mouth, bad temper and an angry spirit, then you have Ephesians 4.
  • If your weakest link is lust, pornography or an immoral thought life, then you’ve got Ephesians 5 to help you.

In each of the areas above I’ve given only one scripture, but my friends in every case there are many more, because God’s Word is filled with awesome principles and precepts that will help you with every WEAK LINK in your life. There’s NO sin you can imagine doing that God’s Word has not covered.

I don’t know who coined the phrase; “Sin will keep you from the Bible, or the Bible will keep you from sin.” But it’s so true. When we get God’s Word into our hearts, minds, life and soul, then it’s more likely to keep us on the pathway of purity. Knowing the Lord Jesus Himself is of course key, being filled daily with the Holy Spirit cannot be forgotten, but the next most powerful way to strengthen every single one of your LINKS in the chain connecting you to your anchor (The Lord Jesus Christ) is to weld them in place by storing them in your inner being; Bible Memory Training.

Key Bible Verses:

These will enable you to know the precept that storing God’s Word is fundamental or foundational training in Discipleship and the pathway to Christian maturity.

Proverbs 23:7 (KJV) As A Man THINKETH.

“For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he: Eat and drink, saith he to thee; but his heart is not with thee.”

Psalm 119:11 “I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.”

Proverbs 3:5-6 (KJV) “Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. 6  In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.”

Hebrews 12:1-7 (NIV)

2 Corinthians 12:9-10 “But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 10  That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”

Tactics: Knowing Your Enemy:

Sun Tzu (Also Satan’s Tactics against Believers in the Lord Jesus Christ).

The Enemy: “When strong, avoid them. If of high morale, depress them. Seem humble to fill them with conceit. If at ease, exhaust them. If united, separate them. Attack their weaknesses. Emerge to their surprise.” Sun Tzu.

I want to fill it out a little;

  • When your enemy is strong, avoid them.
  • When they have high morale, depress them.
  • When they seem humble, then fill them with conceit.
  • When they are at ease, exhaust them.
  • If they are united, then separate them.
  • Attack their weaknesses.
  • Emerge to their surprise.

When you look at these tactics of the Chinese Tactical Warfare Expert, Sun Tzu, you’ll notice they are some of the ways that Satan attacks the Believer. So my friends, knowing your Weaknesses must therefore be a key to your victory in the Christian life. For when you know your weaknesses, then you can be strong. Christians are not to focus upon those weaknesses, but opon the LORD who’ll enable us to gain victory by meditating on His revelation in those areas. He’ll enable us to overcome all our weaknesses.

It’s my hope and prayer that you’ll be seeing the need to Memorise, Internalise, Meditate and Think about God’s Word every single day. Strengthen every WEAK LINK in your life with God’s Word and you’ll be well on your way to Christian maturity and Spiritual growth.

Have and AWESOME week my friends.

Don.

Seven Benefits of Bible Memorisation.

Benefit #6 Knowing God’s Word Helps To Maintaining My Purity.

The Weakest Link.

 

An Anchor For Your Soul

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

Seven Benefits of Bible Memorisation.

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

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

We have an anchor that keeps the soul

Steadfast and sure while the billows roll,

Fastened to the Rock which cannot move,

Grounded firm and deep in the Savior’s love.

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

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

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

John W. Crawford wrote in Discipleship Journal;

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

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

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

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

THE GREAT HABIT OF EMBEDDING GOD’S WORD:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Every blessing in Jesus name,

Don.

The Helmet & The Sword

God’s Word The Sword of The Spirit

Daily Spirit & Word, 456: The Helmet & The Sword

Seven Benefits of Memorising God’s Word.

Benefit #2: Knowing God’s Word; The Sword of The Spirit.

 Ephesians 6:17 “Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.”

Good morning my friends, today I want to highlight one of the practical aspects of Bible Memorisation, but also pointing out one of the dangers too.

First the Danger: There is a tendency within the human heart, some think it noble, right and good, and there are some aspects of it that are great in the workplace and world; they are INDEPENDENCE of spirit, STRENGTH, DETERMINATION and ABILITY. When we see these evident in our children we praise and honour them. However, the danger of being able to memorise the Bible is that we could mistake that for our relationship with the Lord Jesus and the need of being dependent upon the Holy Spirit to illuminate Scripture and give us the strength to live the Christian life. Without the Holy Spirit, simply using our own human faculties, we’ll never truly understand or be able to apply the Word of God to our lives, because the things of the Spirit are foolishness to the world (or the man without the Spirit cannot understand the things of God). So we must get that relationship with Jesus Christ right first, then maintain it and then being led by the Spirit memorise / internalise God’s Word. There are some people in the world who could / can memorise the whole Bible and mesmerise others with the talents, but still not become a dependent believer in the Lord Jesus Christ. That’s why the Helmet of Salvation comes before the Sword of the Spirit in the list of the Gospel Armour in Ephesians. When we put it on daily, we’ll be remembering that we’re saved by God’s Grace through our Faith and Trust in The Lord Jesus Christ and not by mere Human effort or ability.

Bible Memory: The Sword of the Spirit: The Word of God.

The Spirit Enables You to Wield the Sword (God’s Word) When Required.

Ephesians 6:17 “Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.”

Internalized Scripture keeps our minds in good working order and when required we’ll be able to recall the right scriptures for whatever situations we face in life.

John Ruskin, the brilliant British social critic whose views about art and architecture were influential during the Victorian and Edwardian periods of English history, testifies to this. Ruskin was an author, poet, and creative thinker; and today Ruskin College in Oxford is named for him. Leo Tolstoy described him as “one of those rare men who think with their heart.”

When he was young, Ruskin’s mother insisted that he memorize seventeen different chapters of the Bible, word perfect, six of them from the Old Testament. She also assigned an additional eight psalms.

When he was fifty-five, Ruskin said that memorizing these chapters had “established my soul in life.” He said that though afterward he learned many things from many teachers, the “installation” of the Bible into his brain became “the most precious and on the whole the one essential part of all my education. For the chapters became indeed strictly conclusive and productive to me in all modes of thought.”

My friends, All truth is God’s truth, it can be found in Creation itself, the mathematics of the Universe for example, but Scripture is His revealed truth and provides the intellectual foundations for all the rest. God’s written WORD provides the historical, philosophical, theological, and psychological scaffolding within which all other facts become united. It reveals the wisdom of God regarding everything from daily life to eternal life. Without the engraving of Scripture in our minds, we’re left with a brain filled with the rantings and ravings of a confused human intellect, which is in fact foolishness to God.

Jesus Modeled How to Use God’s Word (The Sword of the Spirit).

At the beginning of His ministry, when Jesus faced Satanic temptation in the wilderness, He used verses for the Old Testament. Of course Jesus knew God’s Word completely: He is the Word (John 1) He’d knew the full meaning of the Old Testament and often explained what it meant from a Divine perspective. Throughout His ministry Jesus often quoted verses, in the last, most stress-filled, anguished and painful moments of His life, Jesus again quoted Old Testament Scriptures, such as: “Into Your hands I commit My spirit” (Luke 23:46 NKJV) and “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” (Matt. 27:46 KJV). These are direct quotes from Psalm 31 and Psalm 22. Our Lord was quoting Scripture as He was dying upon the cross, that’s how internalised God’s Word was in our Saviour. He really was the living Word.

If Jesus embodied God’s Word and demonstrated to us how to think clearly during those six torturous hours upon the cross, just think how much they can help us through the stress and strain of each day in our lives. When we recall Bible verse, when we bring them to mind, sometimes the Holy Spirit will bring them to our remembrance, they become like fountains of life-giving water for the thirsty wanderer in a dusty dry desert.

Today we’ve seen that we need both; The Helmet & The Sword.

The Helmet: Knowing Jesus as Lord and Saviour: Daily knowing and remembering that we’re saved by God’s Grace, through Faith and Trust in the Lord Jesus Christ.

The Sword of The Spirit: Is our only offensive weapon in Christian warfare against spiritual forces of evil in this life, so what better use of the time the Lord has given could we have than being employed in retaining His Word for life.

Bible Memory Course:

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

Have an Awesome Wednesday with Jesus.

Don.

Seven Benefits of Bible Memorisation.

Benefit #2 God’s Word: The Sword of The Spirit.

God’s Word The Sword of the Spirit.

 

 

Good Comes From the Good Stored Within

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

Seven Benefits of Memorising The Word of God.

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

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

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

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

 1) Good Comes From The Good Stored Within.

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

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

Jesus said this in so many wonderful ways;

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

 

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

Out of the overflow of the Heart the mouth speaks.

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

 Out of the OVERFLOW of the HEART the MOUTH Speaks.

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

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

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

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

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

You become what you store in your heart.

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

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

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

 

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

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

 

Bible Memory Course:

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

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

Don.

Quote: Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn.

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

Seven Benefits of Memorizing God’s Word.

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