Jesus Kingdom Increase

Kingdom Increase, from Baskets to Hampers.

Daily Spirit & Word: 772: Jesus Kingdom Increase.

You Need to Get A Kingdom: Mind, Heart, Eyes and Ears.

“I’m On Kingdom Business: No Other Agenda”.

Kingdom Increase: Multiplication.

Kingdom Freedom: No Need to Worry.

Good morning my friends, what a FANTASTIC “Oh Happy Day” Community Festival we had. Five Churches committed to an joint event together for Jesus. There were so many Gospel singing groups, dancers, actors, artists, cooks, welcomers, photographers, face-painters, all gathering to make the day HAPPY for everyone. I don’t know how many hundreds came, I’m not a numbers-game-pastor ūüôā However, what I got from Heaven (revelation from Father) was that He was Happy. Happy that we His children were ONE in; Spirit, Purpose and Presentation of the Good News of Jesus Christ. Everything was FREE for those who came, the churches all said, “This event should be free for those who come along, so we’ll commit to paying for everything”… We did, but I’m aware that there are some who’ve not had the opportunity to contribute. If you’d like to you can still do that? We will use it again for our Next “Oh Happy Day” Festival next year, the LORD willing (Get the DATE in your Diary NOW: Saturday July 2017)

Mark 8:14-21 (NIV)
14  The disciples had forgotten to bring bread, except for one loaf they had with them in the boat.
15 ¬†“Be careful,” Jesus warned them. “Watch out for the yeast of the Pharisees and that of Herod.”
16 ¬†They discussed this with one another and said, “It is because we have no bread.”
17 ¬†Aware of their discussion, Jesus asked them: “Why are you talking about having no bread? Do you still not see or understand? Are your hearts hardened?
18 ¬†Do you have eyes but fail to see, and ears but fail to hear? And don’t you remember?
19 ¬†When I broke the five loaves for the five thousand, how many basketfuls of pieces did you pick up?” “Twelve,” they replied.
20 ¬†“And when I broke the seven loaves for the four thousand, how many basketfuls of pieces did you pick up?” They answered, “Seven.”
21 ¬†He said to them, “Do you still not understand?”

HOW The “Oh Happy Day” event came about, was because one man had ears to hear what the Father was saying.
He was new to West Norwood, but came with a passion for Jesus and reaching out with God’s love and joy; Pastor David Catarino (Portuguese Fellowship).
He shared the vision and dream with one of our group, Peter Day (from Lansdowne Evangelical fellowship) then Peter asked me, we met with David Catarino and prayed about it, but the vision grew along with the conviction that Father God wanted us to do this thing together. So we shared with Pastors Dennis and Richard from Worldwide Mission Fellowship and Chatsworth Baptist Church. We fixed a date, arranged a prayer meeting and committed to being involved ourselves.

When Jesus was in the Boat with His Disciples:

He’d just had another run-in with the Pharisees and must have been thinking about it because He said to them “Be careful, watch out for the yeast of the Pharisees and that of Herod”…

However, the Disciples, as usual, had their minds fixed on worldly things and didn’t get what Jesus was going on about. They’d moved on to thinking about their own need for BREAD instead of worrying about the spiritual battles that were on-going. “It is because we have no bread”… they reasoned in earthly terms.

Yeast: Yeast to Jewish people is a symbol of evil. Yeast spreads throughout the whole batch of dough, and so evil can infect an individual and a community. It’s the evil teaching and tendencies Jesus wanted His disciples to see, but it went completely over their heads.

Why? Because their minds, hearts, eyes and ears were still on earthly things.

  • It’s like they were worrying about a cup full of water when there’s a large lake full of fresh water in front of them.
  • It’s like worrying when our petrol tank is on empty, when there’s an OIL Well full of petrol right in front of them.
  • Jesus is the fountain of life: Jesus is the light of the world, Jesus is the Good Shepherd, Jesus is the Miracle Makers who turns five loaves into Twelve Baskets full left over… He turns a few loaves into Seven Hampers full left over.

Jesus quite rightly was a bit frustrated with them: “Why are you talking about having no bread?” He asked them.

So often our minds are always on EARTHLY MATTERS; so much so, that we’ll MISS what God wants us to know about.

My friends, God is Speaking: But are we listening, are we looking, are we thinking and meditation on God’s will?

I do believe that we MISS so many of His Golden Opportunities because we’ve got a different set of priorities.

Jesus asked them pointedly: “Why are you talking about having no bread? Do you still not see or understand? Are your hearts hardened? Do you have eyes but fail to see, and ears but fail to hear?”

Jesus Helps Us Get Our Focus Right:

By Taking them Back: “Don’t You Remember?”

Of course they had; a head to think and a heart to care. They had eyes to see and ears to hear; but they were transfixed on temporal matters.

So, Jesus purposefully takes them back over the last few weeks of ministry:

The Miracle Feedings: 5000 and 4000…

He begins by asking; “And don’t you remember?”

My friends, it’s often very good for us to REMEMBER what God has done for us in the past. Why? Because it stops us ever worrying again. When we think back to God’s miracles of answered prayer, miracle provision, miracle guidance in our lives, then we’ll STOP being completely transfixed by temporal matters. We’ll never again WORRY about worldly things; paying bills, getting out of debt, sorting relationships, Why? Because we’ll REMEMBER how God worked in these areas of our lives in the past and sorted things out for us.

Here, in our reading, Jesus goes over the MIRACLES: To get their minds, hearts, eyes and ears ATTENTIVE TO GOD.

Mark 8:19-20 (NIV)
19 ¬†When I broke the five loaves for the five thousand, how many basketfuls (small baskets) of pieces did you pick up?” “Twelve,” they replied.
20 ¬†“And when I broke the seven loaves for the four thousand, how many basketfuls (Hamper sized Baskets) of pieces did you pick up?” They answered, “Seven.”
Then he asked them; “Do you still not understand”…

Mark¬†doesn’t¬†tell us if they did or not. There’s a strange silence in Scripture at the end of Jesus’ questioning His Disciples. However, I think even the MOST DIM person could understand that.

What’s the difference between a small basked and a hamper?

A small basket could fit into a hamper many times.

The Difference between the Miracles of feeding 5000 and 4000 was the Kingdom Increase in what was left over.

That’s KINGDOM INCREASE:

My friends. Do you see? Do you have eyes to see? Do you have ears to Hear? Do you have a Heart to understand?

God’s in the KINGDOM INCREASE business. (No other agenda).

When we’re in the world, when we’re doing our stuff, the ordinary stuff; working, shopping, cleaning, cooking, etc etc… How’s our Kingdom Focus?

God wants to get your minds, hearts, eyes and ears OFF of Temporal Matters and onto His KINGDOM MATTERS.

What is it that MATTERS MOST to God? Kingdom Increase.

Jesus said in the Parable of the Sower:

Mark 4:8-9 (NIV) (Go back and REMEMBER).
8 ¬†Still other seed fell on good soil. It came up, grew and produced a crop, multiplying thirty, sixty, or even a hundred times.”
9 ¬†Then Jesus said, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear.”

Jesus also said, “The HARVEST is Plentiful, but the Labourers are FEW”: My friends, that tells me that not many of Jesus followers are getting His Kingdom Agenda.

Multiplying: Multiplication: Baskets / Hampers.

It’s like God is saying to all of us today: Become Kingdom Mathematicians: Think about KINGDOM INCREASE (Kingdom Multiplication)…

Multiplication is very different from Addition… Addition adds ones and twos, multiplication goes from 10s to 10000000 very quickly. (Exponential Thinking).

Do you now have minds to understand, hearts to care, eyes to see and ears to hear?

What happened yesterday at “Oh Happy Day” ¬†when we gave away FREE Kingdom Burgers, Free Photography, Free Face-Painting, Free Music, dance and singing… It was ALL ABOUT KINGDOM INCREASE (Multiplication: NOT Addition)… You do the maths and God will do the increase.

Let’s get our own eyes OFF Temporal Matters (Stop Being Transfixed by the Temporal).

Let’s get our eyes ON Kingdom Business. God’s KINGDOM INCREASE.

David Wilson and I had a coffee in a cafe during the week: Oh we’d met up a few times: Tuesday for Fellowship, Wednesday for Morning Prayer Gathering, Wednesday Evening for Witnessing on the Streets and Friday in a Cafe for Coffee… We talked about KINGDOM Business.

We had a laugh and said, “I think we should have a T’Shirt made up “I’m on Kingdom Business” with a strap line “NO OTHER AGENDA”…

My friends, as Christians that really should become our Motto for Jesus.

“I’m on Kingdom Business” and “No Other Agenda”….

How’s your KINGDOM; mind, heart, eyes and ears today?

Let’s Get:

  • Kingdom Mindset: To Understand.
  • Kingdom Heart: To Care about God’s Agenda.
  • Kingdom Eyes: To See God’s Opportunities.
  • Kingdom Ears: To Hear God’s Calling Today.

 

Jesus did TWO MIRACLES feeding Thousands: 5000 and 4000…

We’re going to do TWO “Oh Happy Day Community Festivals”… Next July is going to be TOTALLY AWESOME (God willing). We’ll see Kingdom Increase: But only if we get our own eyes off our agenda and onto God’s agenda. His Kingdom Business…

Now, the next time, if your eyes are still on worldly matters (Disciples in the Boat: Eyes on Bread), I’m going to be a bit cheesed off like Jesus was… LOL.

God NEEDS all of us here at St Luke’s Church to get into HIS KINGDOM BUSINESS: Minds, Hearts, Eyes, Ears… So we can all say with JOY “I’m on Kingdom Business, no other Agenda”…

Will you be on God’s Kingdom Increase Business?

I truly hope so… Praying for Kingdom Increase in all of our lives today. Amen!

Get this today: “We’re on God’s Kingdom Business, with NO Other Agenda.”

Pray the LORD will OPEN Your Mind, Heart, Eyes and Ears to what He’s showing you in this world, how He wants you to work for Him and His Kingdom. Amen!

Be blessed in Jesus,

Don.

NOTE: Those who’ve been translating the Bibles over the years have made a mistake or at least not given us the full picture. Size Matters to God: Kingdom Increase is a theme running throughout Scripture. Go back to the GREEK TEXT and you’ll see the difference in size of the baskets used in the miracles of feeding 5000 and 4000; it’s in Matthew and Mark and… When we see that Jesus first miracle there was 12 small baskets full of broken pieces left over… In the miracle of the feeding 4000 there were 7 (Seven) Large Hampers of broken pieces left over…. That’s KINGDOM INCREASE: minds, hearts, eyes and ears to see….

GREEK WORDS:

5000 (12 Baskets: Kophinos (Kof-ee-nos). = Small Baskets.

4000 (7 Baskets: Spuris (Spoorace) = Hamper Basket… Like the one Paul was lowered down the wall in Acts 9:25.

How many small baskets would fit into just one of those Seven Hampers? Kingdom Increase.

How many people will you, who are the ‘good soil’ hearers, lead to Christ in your life? How much fruit will you produce; 30, 60 or 100 times what was sown?

YEAST: Of the Pharisees and of King Herod:

Remember to the Jewish people, yeast represented evil, and the way yeast spreads it’s influence throughout the whole batch of dough, it can spread it’s influence on the un-suspecting and un-aware, that why Jesus said, “Be on your guard”, “Watch out for the yeast of the Pharisees and that of Herod.”

Doubt, Suspicion, Hatred, Murder, Distain, Jealousy, Questioning, Plotting, Planning: Evil¬†worldly¬†trans-fixation. Worring about worldly matters instead of God’s Kingdom Agenda: Kingdom Business with no other agenda…

Get this today: “We’re on God’s Kingdom Business, with NO Other Agenda.”

Pray the LORD will OPEN Your Mind, Heart, Eyes and Ears to what He’s showing you in this world, how He wants you to work for Him and His Kingdom. Amen!

 

Oh Happy Day

The smile on your face lets me know you need me, there's a look in your eyes saying you'll never leave me

Daily Spirit & Word: 771: Oh Happy Day

You Have the POWER to Deliver.

With Jesus ALL THINGS Are Possible.

BUT:

  • No Prayer = No Power.
  • No Fasting = No Feasting.
  • No Faith = Nothing will Happen.

Good morning my friends, just ONE more day and the “Oh Happy Day” Gospel Festival will be here. Praise the LORD! What a Golden Opportunity to share Jesus with the whole of West Norwood.

The idea came from Pastor David of the¬†Portuguese¬†Fellowship meeting at Lansdowne Evangelical Church. He shared with Peter Day and I, then with the two other Ministers we pray with regularly: Richard from Chatsworth Baptist and Dennis from Worldwide Mission Fellowship. His vision was “Reaching out to our community with the Love and Joy of the Lord”, The Lord had given him some Scriptures to back up the vision too and as we shared the vision took on form and substance. Now we’re committed to going ahead in St Luke’s Church and grounds together. We’re giving away free food, free music, free face-painting, free fitness fun, free fun photography, free art activity, free children’s games and activities. It’s going to be AWESOME! (However, we need to PRAY: There’s a gathering tonight at Lansdowne Church: 8.00pm: Come and let’s give this EVENT some POWER).

I was praying and reading God’s word today and this passage jumped out at me;

Luke 9:37-45 (NIV) Disciples Failure To Deliver.
37  The next day, when they came down from the mountain, a large crowd met him.
38 ¬†A man in the crowd called out, “Teacher, I beg you to look at my son, for he is my only child.
39  A spirit seizes him and he suddenly screams; it throws him into convulsions so that he foams at the mouth. It scarcely ever leaves him and is destroying him.
40 ¬†I begged your disciples to drive it out, but they could not.”
41 ¬†“O unbelieving and perverse generation,” Jesus replied, “how long shall I stay with you and put up with you? Bring your son here.”
42  Even while the boy was coming, the demon threw him to the ground in a convulsion. But Jesus rebuked the evil spirit, healed the boy and gave him back to his father.
43  And they were all amazed at the greatness of God. While everyone was marvelling at all that Jesus did, he said to his disciples,
44 ¬†“Listen carefully to what I am about to tell you: The Son of Man is going to be betrayed into the hands of men.”
45  But they did not understand what this meant. It was hidden from them, so that they did not grasp it, and they were afraid to ask him about it.

Verse 40: “I begged your disciples to drive it out, but they could not.”

I knew from my reading of the Bible that other passages in Scripture tell us why they couldn’t do it, but hadn’t noticed before that Luke’s account, doesn’t even dwell upon the reasons why the Disciples couldn’t deliver the boy.

Luke’s doesn’t go into the reasons WHY the Nine Disciples couldn’t drive out the Demon when Jesus, Peter, John and James returned down the mountain.

When Jesus was away there was an opportunity to act in faith and continue the word to which they had recently returned from with great joy; Healing, Delivering, Casting out Demons in the name of Jesus. But now they couldn’t do it. WHY?

Thankfully Matthew and Mark give us some more details that fill out this account of Deliverance from Evil Spirits.

They also reveal the reasons WHY they couldn’t set the boy free of the Demon.

Matthew 17:14-21 (NKJV)
14  And when they had come to the multitude, a man came to Him, kneeling down to Him and saying,
15 ¬†“Lord, have mercy on my son, for he is an epileptic and suffers severely; for he often falls into the fire and often into the water.
16 ¬†So I brought him to Your disciples, but they could not cure him.”
17 ¬†Then Jesus answered and said, “O faithless and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you? How long shall I bear with you? Bring him here to Me.”
18  And Jesus rebuked the demon, and it came out of him; and the child was cured from that very hour.
19 ¬†Then the disciples came to Jesus privately and said, “Why could we not cast it out?”
20 ¬†So Jesus said to them, “Because of your unbelief; for assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you.

21 ¬†However, this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting.”

Mark 9:14-29 (NKJV)
14  And when He came to the disciples, He saw a great multitude around them, and scribes disputing with them.
15  Immediately, when they saw Him, all the people were greatly amazed, and running to Him, greeted Him.
16 ¬†And He asked the scribes, “What are you discussing with them?”
17 ¬†Then one of the crowd answered and said, “Teacher, I brought You my son, who has a mute spirit.
18 ¬†And wherever it seizes him, it throws him down; he foams at the mouth, gnashes his teeth, and becomes rigid. So I spoke to Your disciples, that they should cast it out, but they could not.”
19 ¬†He answered him and said, “O faithless generation, how long shall I be with you? How long shall I bear with you? Bring him to Me.”
20  Then they brought him to Him. And when he saw Him, immediately the spirit convulsed him, and he fell on the ground and wallowed, foaming at the mouth.
21 ¬†So He asked his father, “How long has this been happening to him?” And he said, “From childhood.
22 ¬†And often he has thrown him both into the fire and into the water to destroy him. But if You can do anything, have compassion on us and help us.”
23 ¬†Jesus said to him, “If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes.”
24 ¬†Immediately the father of the child cried out and said with tears, “Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!”
25 ¬†When Jesus saw that the people came running together, He rebuked the unclean spirit, saying to it, “Deaf and dumb spirit, I command you, come out of him and enter him no more!”
26 ¬†Then the spirit cried out, convulsed him greatly, and came out of him. And he became as one dead, so that many said, “He is dead.”
27  But Jesus took him by the hand and lifted him up, and he arose.
28 ¬†And when He had come into the house, His disciples asked Him privately, “Why could we not cast it out?”
29 ¬†So He said to them, “This kind can come out by nothing but prayer and fasting.”

Both Matthew and Mark reveal to us: It was the Disciples lack of; faith, prayer and fasting.

They both tell us the Disciples asked Jesus why they couldn’t do it. And He tells them. My friends, if there is something you are perplexed about or don’t know why you are not able to do something, learn from Jesus’ Disciples, go to HIM to find the answers. He will guide you and show you any reasons why something is not happening in your life.

Jesus Reveals: It was lack of Faith, of Prayer and of Fasting.

Lack of FAITH: Having a faith that can move mountains: I’ve never moved a mountain, but sometimes the LORD gives me the gift of faith to pray in a certain way that things happen. I do sometimes sense the Spirit’s power in prayer and when that happens, things happen too. It’s not all the time, sometimes I’m praying for someone, and I know in my Spirit, the Lord is not going to give them what they want. He hears all prayers, sometimes He’ll give us faith to move those mountains. But sometimes, it’s not His will or it’s not the right time or He’s going to answer later. He always hears us when we pray in faith.

Lack of PRAYER: Prayer is the vital connection with Jesus in faith. Without prayer we’re powerless to do anything. Perhaps the Disciples were not operating under Jesus’ authority, but out of past experience. They were probably thinking, “We did it before, we can do it easily again”… They didn’t seek the LORD in prayer or even pray to the Father as Jesus would later instruct them… (The Lord’s Prayer Luke 11).

Lack of FASTING: Fasting teaches us to rely upon the LORD more for our daily needs. It brings us closer to Jesus and enables us to see things we’d never see unless we go without. When I fast it’s wonderful. When I get hungry, I turn to Jesus and instead of going to the¬†cupboard or¬†fridge for food to the Bible and Prayer and Praise. It’s totally awesome when you experience Jesus feeding you at these times. And they do equip you for situations that are happening in your life.

So my friends, if you’ve got some little mountain that needs moving, someone that needs some¬†deliverance, a problem that seems un-resolvable in normal ways, then turn first to Jesus and get the Faith you need, turn to prayer and fast regularly. (Fasting is known to be good for us medically too).

MORE DETAILS: Primary Focus:

There are many other details that all the Evangelists bring out of this account; Matthew, Mark and Luke bring to this account of Deliverance: Some highlight the arguments with the Crowd and the Disciples, some highlight the Amazement and Delight of the Crowd at Jesus. Some highlight what Jesus said afterwards to His Disciples (Luke omits that completely). However, what they all tell us is that this BOY was delivered immediately at Jesus’ command.

When we’ve got FAITH and when we pray and fast (regularly) we’re going to have the POWER too.

  • How’s your faith today? Come closer to Jesus.
  • How’s your prayer life? Come closer to Jesus.
  • How’s your fasting going? Come to Jesus to let Him feed you from Heaven.

By all three; Faith, Prayer and Fasting; we’re going to see our NEED to come regularly to Jesus if we want the POWER to live and operate as His Disciples in the world today. Following Jesus is NOT easy, but there’s POWER in the Spirit available for every Christian today. Not only that, but we have the added security and assurance that Jesus will never leave us alone as He did the Nine, He’s with us always to the very end of the age. Amen!

I’m looking forward to an awesome “Oh Happy Day” Festival tomorrow in St Luke’s Gardens. Come and join us if you can, between 1.00pm and 4.00pm. St Luke’s Church, West Norwood, London. SE27 0HS.

Have some fun and let the smile on your face let the world know that God’s LOVE is in you.

Give them some HOPE in a world that’s devoid of real hope.

Give them some JOY in a world that needs true JOY today.

When the people saw Jesus and his disciples coming down the mountain, the ran to Jesus (Mark 9:15) They ran to Jesus and greeted Him. I’m sure it was the SMILE on Jesus face that drew the crowds to Him that day. It was the JOY in His person. My friends, when we’re full of the glory of the Lord, it will put JOY in other people’s hearts too.

People in the UK and the world have experienced great turmoil, they all need renewed HOPE, renewed JOY in their daily lives. Let’s go out and give them a GREAT BIG SMILE on their faces.

Have an AWESOME Weekend with Jesus, be FULL of Faith in His POWER to Deliver.

Don.

Pastor David’s Scriptures: The Vision for “Oh Happy Day”…

Job 29:23-24 (CEV)
23  My words were eagerly accepted like the showers of spring,
24 ¬†and the smile on my face renewed everyone’s hopes.

Proverbs 15:30 (CEV)
30  A friendly smile makes you happy, and good news makes you feel strong.

What the LORD Gave me: “The Smile on Your Face” At a prayer meeting for the event.

The smile on your face let’s me know that you need me,
There’s a truth in your eyes saying you’ll never leave me,
The touch of your hand says you’ll catch me wherever I fall,
You say it best, when you say nothing at all…

NOTE: You’ll probably see in your modern versions of the Bible it says, “Some ancient manuscripts don’t have verse 21 “However, this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting.” Some will keep it in with a note and others remove it. However, I do believe that this verse is indeed in the original Greek. Over the years the Church (all be it imperfect) kept the best manuscripts and threw away corrupted or those with mistakes, I believe what modern archeologists are discovering are not the BEST and MOST ACCURATE, no we are not discovering “The Oldest and most original” but those that had been rejected by the church. The people who translated the Bible at the time of King James had access to the most reliable texts the church possessed at the time. These had been preserved and carefully collated and many others, perverse texts discarded. The LORD preserves His Word: Let the Spirit guide you into the Truth.

 

Will YOU Follow Jesus?

Rejected by the Religious, the Elite and Demons. Jesus called 12 Apostles

Daily Spirit & Word: 670:

Large Crowds Follow Jesus.

Jesus is calling YOU to be ONE of His Followers Today.

Good morning my friends, what an¬†roller-coaster¬†of a week I’ve had: Ups and Downs, but praise the LORD, it’s been going higher and higher, closer to Jesus after each little lull. My walk with Jesus is as if it’s a roller-coaster in reverse, but I know I’ll only reach the TOP when I get to Heaven and be with my Lord Jesus forever.

A funeral on Monday morning, an awesome meeting in the afternoon. A visit to the Dentist Tuesday and a meeting with the Mission’s Committee in the morning, Prep then Discipleship Fellowship in the Evening. Funeral visit in the morning, then Training and Street¬†Evangelism¬†on Wednesday, School Governors Meeting on Thursday and an amazing meeting on Friday with Bill and Judy in Costa. Fitted some family things in and also some shopping with Julie for our Burn’s Night Supper tomorrow. Yesterday we picked up the Grandchildren and it was to the park and hungry hippo cafe for a little drink afterwards. Last night Julie and I watched the film: War Horse (filmed on Dartmoor Devon at a location I know very well: Ditsworthy Warren farm). As well as meeting with Jesus every day and writing and studying God’s Word, my weeks been quite full and exciting. But it’s NOTHING in comparison with what Jesus experienced, that’s what we’re going to see today.

BTW: How’s your week been? Think it through for a few moments, note the highs and lows, those special times and how you’ve been in your walk with Jesus.

Today, Sunday, we’re back with the Gospel of Mark: This week you’ll notice some surprising contrasts. At the end of last week’s reading, Mark 3:1-6 we see the Jewish leaders and Religious elite plotting to kill Jesus, but this week we’ll note that the ordinary folks loved Jesus. So much so, that they thronged him: i.e. thousands of them came from many different towns to get close and possibly even touch Jesus.

Mark 3:7-19 (NIV)
7 Jesus withdrew with his disciples to the lake, and a large crowd from Galilee followed.
8  When they heard all he was doing, many people came to him from Judea, Jerusalem, Idumea, and the regions across the Jordan and around Tyre and Sidon.
9  Because of the crowd he told his disciples to have a small boat ready for him, to keep the people from crowding him.
10  For he had healed many, so that those with diseases were pushing forward to touch him.
11 ¬†Whenever the evil spirits saw him, they fell down before him and cried out, “You are the Son of God.”
12  But he gave them strict orders not to tell who he was.
13 Jesus went up on a mountainside and called to him those he wanted, and they came to him.
14 ¬†He appointed twelve‚ÄĒdesignating them apostles ‚ÄĒthat they might be with him and that he might send them out to preach¬†15 ¬†and to have authority to drive out demons.
16  These are the twelve he appointed: Simon (to whom he gave the name Peter);
17  James son of Zebedee and his brother John (to them he gave the name Boanerges, which means Sons of Thunder);
18  Andrew, Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew, Thomas, James son of Alphaeus, Thaddaeus, Simon the Zealot
19  and Judas Iscariot, who betrayed him.

What an amazing difference in attitudes. 

  1. The Religious and Social Leaders: Rejected Him. Mark 3:6.
  2. The Crowds of Ordinary folks: thronged Him. Mark 3:7-10.
  3. The Demons: cried out in fear and recognised Him. Mark 3:11-12.
  4. The Disciples: Came to Him when He called them. Mark 3:13-19.

The CROWD:

I watched a Documentary a few weeks ago about Amy Winehouse: Her life was a Roller-Coaster too. So many highs; awesome voice, amazing records and songs, shows and awards. Adored by countless millions all over the world. Yet tragic; she couldn’t cope with life and it¬†spiralled¬†out of control: Drugs and Drink.

However, everywhere she went crowds thronged her; photographers every inch of the way, chronicling her slow decline and ultimate demise. Crowds of adoring fans thronged her every waking moment in life. Even when on holiday on the beach, people wanted to be snapped with their favourite STAR.

Have you ever been part of an huge crowd?

Why was this Crowd following Jesus? Verse 10 gives us the answer “For he had healed many”... The Crowds were coming to Jesus because they were desperate for a healing, for a touch, some to see a miracles performed for others, a few interested in what He had to say. They’d heard about the¬†HEALINGS: News spread quickly and thousands came from all the towns, hamlets and cities around Lake Galilee.

The BOAT:

Jesus, knew he’d likely be thronged so he had a boat prepared.

Music stars and Famous people have great big body-guards to keep the crowds from getting too close and crushing their Celebrity Star. They have a Limousine ready to jump into to get away.

Jesus had a boat made ready to make his escape (The ancient¬†equivalent¬†of a¬†Limousine). We know from other Gospels that it was Peter’s boat Jesus got into, and had to teach the crowds with a water barrier to stop them from pushing in too much and crushing Him to death in their desperation for a touch from the King.

Those crowds would have crushed Jesus if he hadn’t gotten into that boat.

The DEMON POSSESSED:

Read with me Mark 3:11-12 The Demons.
11 ¬†Whenever the evil spirits saw him, they fell down before him and cried out, “You are the Son of God.”
12  But he gave them strict orders not to tell who he was.

I’m not going to say too much on the subject of DEMONS here, I’ll cover it in much grater detail in another section of Mark’s Gospel. Mark¬†talks more about the DEMONIC than any other Gospel writer.

However, note this: The Demonic Underworld KNEW who Jesus was. “You are the Son of God”. But Jesus wasn’t interested in them spreading the Great News TOO SOON. So He commanded them to shut-up, keep quiet.

Jesus knew something about PEOPLE: They came in great crowds for healings, think how they’d flock to Him if He declared openly, before He’d had a chance to correct their misunderstanding of the Messiah’s reasons for coming? He would have had a full-scale WAR with the Romans and possibly thousands of people killed in a great war.

The Jews wanted the Messiah to come, they were waiting for deliverance from Roman oppression and conquest. If the Demon’s had their way, Jesus whole Mission could be in jeapordy. He didn’t want a war; He didn’t want people to die, He came to bring God’s Message of Good News and Die for EVERYONE; Jews first, then for everyone in the world who’d believe in Him. That was His mission: Declare Him Messiah too soon and it would be scuppered.

But: The Underworld, the Evil forces of Satan KNEW who Jesus was; “The Divine Son of God”… God on earth.

The DISCIPLES: Mark 3:13-19.

Jesus calls people out of all the people in Israel: He only appoints 12 to be His Apostles.

Think about that: Thousands were following Him. He only chose 12.

Surely He could have chosen many hundreds more, but He only chose 12… Why?

The Crowds were following Jesus for the wrong reasons.¬†They were only following Jesus to get something for themselves: Healings, Miracles, Deliverance…¬†They were not primarily interested in what Jesus had to say or teach them.

Jesus wanted people to KNOW God’s way to live life.

Jesus wanted people to KNOW God’s Mission and Call.

He chose the twelve: Simon (Peter), James, John, Andrew, Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew, Thomas, James, Thaddeus, Simon (Zealot) and Judas.

Only Twelve: Not from the Nobility. Not from the Social Elite in Society. Not from the Religious Leaders; but ordinary folks, fishermen, tax collectors… What an outstanding and surprising choice Jesus made for the twelve Apostles.

They were not particularly good or religious or noteworthy in society, but these were the ones that Jesus called to be His Apostles.

What is an APOSTLE?

Apostle means:¬†An apostle, from Classical Greek ŠľÄŌÄŌĆŌÉŌĄőŅőĽőŅŌā (ap√≥stolos), meaning “one who is sent away”, is a messenger and ambassador. The purpose of such “sending away” is to convey messages, and thus “messenger” is a common alternative translation.

Explained in Mark 3:14-15 ¬†“He appointed twelve‚ÄĒdesignating them apostles ‚ÄĒthat they might be with him and that he might send them out to preach¬†15 ¬†and to have authority to drive out demons.”

Apostles: Sent ones: 

  • Be with HIM: Learn from Jesus. Learn His Teachings / Commands / Instructions…
  • Go for HIM: Go out and tell the Good News of the Gospel: Heal and Deliver.
  • This Mission: The Apostolic Mission began after Jesus resurrection from the dead;

Mark 16:15-20 (NIV) The Great Commission.
15 ¬†He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation.
16  Whoever believes and is baptised will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.
17 ¬†And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues;¬†18 ¬†they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well.”
19  After the Lord Jesus had spoken to them, he was taken up into heaven and he sat at the right hand of God.
20  Then the disciples went out and preached everywhere, and the Lord worked with them and confirmed his word by the signs that accompanied it.

The Apostles: Called by Jesus by Name: Taught by Jesus and sent out by Jesus. Given His Authority and sent out on a Mission.

My friends, why are you following Jesus?

  • Are you part of the Crowd?
  • Are you like the Religious Leaders: Rejecting Jesus?
  • Are you like the Deomons, who knew who Jesus was, but enemies of Jesus?
  • Are you being called to be a Disciple: A follower of Jesus?

If you are being called, then He’s also given you a Mission too.

He’s got something He wants you to do for Him in this world today.

The REAL Follower of Jesus: (in contrast to the CROWD).

Won’t be in it for what He / She can get out of Jesus.

If all you want Jesus to do for you is save you from Hell, Judgement and to give you eternal life: You are NOT a true follower of Jesus today. You might be on the way to becoming one, but you are still just part of that CROWD who only wanted Jesus for what He could do for them.

You are a follower of Jesus, when there’s been a dynamic transformation in your attitude towards HIM:

“What can I do for you Jesus?” “I want to serve you Lord Jesus with my life”…

When you get to that point, then you’ll KNOW that you ARE a follower of Jesus Christ today.

The Disciples: The Apostles all died horrific deaths, John died a very old man in exile on the Isle of Patmos in Greece.

St Paul Said, “I no longer live, but Christ lives in me”… He was beaten, stoned, and finally killed for Jesus and the Gospel.

We “Die to the world and live for Jesus”

Jesus said, “Unless you take up your cross and follow me”

Jesus said, “If you love me, you will obey my commands”…

How and Why are you following Jesus today?

My friends, He’s calling you, He’s calling you by name, He wants you to be His Disciple, He’s got a mission for you to complete.

Will you come to Him? Will you come and give your life to the Saviour, the Lord Jesus today? Will you follow Him, learn from Him and then begin / continue serve Him with your life?

Respond: Recognise that you too are just like the Disciples He first called: Unworthy, yet called to repent and trust in Him.

Turn: Turn in Repentance: turn away from living your life for yourself. Your sin, your attitudes that are wrong. He died so that you can be forgiven and given a new start in life.

Receive: Receive Jesus Christ as your LORD: Your Saviour.

Be filled: With God’s Holy Spirit. Spiritual equipping for His service: Gifts of Holy Spirit

Be ready to serve Jesus with your life: Live the full life and go on the mission He’s given you.

Conclusion:

The Religious Elite Plotted, The Political Elite colluded, The Crowds wanted, The Demonic shouted, The Apostles were called by name and followed and were transformed, then sent on a Mission for Jesus: Who are you and why are you following Jesus today? Are you following Jesus?

I would say, “Don’t just follow Jesus to be one of the crowd, to see what He can do for you, or to observe a miracle or just to get your miracle or life sorted out for you, don’t just follow Jesus because He can give you forgiveness or a new life and eternal life and peace with God, but go deeper, be the Disciple He’s calling you to be. Only then will you begin to KNOW the fullness of life that Jesus promises when He called you.”

Up to now, you may have had a touch of His Holy Spirit, you might have been healed or seen healings, you might have received wonderful teaching, but NOW Jesus wants you to experience fullness of His life on Mission with Him. You just tell Jesus, “I’m ready to be one of Your Disciples Jesus, I want to go on Mission in this world for You” Be assured, He’ll take you and He’ll equip you for whatever He’s got planned.

Who know what Jesus has planned for you? Only Jesus knows His plans for each and every individual, but just say, like so many countless thousands have done before you, and been used to transform the world: Cadbury, John Newton, John Wesley, John Calvin, Charles finney, D. L. Mooday, Billy Graham, Charles Spurgeon, Nicky Gumbel, J John, John Wimber, Fanny Crosby, Gladdys Ayelward (missions to China), Aimee McPherson (evangelist), J I Packer, John Stott, Rhinhard Bonnke, Ravi Zacharias, Daniel Cozens, David Watson,

From Our Church: Robert Rowe, Val Rowe, Prince, Chief George, David Bulbeck, David Wilson, Isaac, Elizabeth, Cherrie, Mary, John, Celestine, Sarah, Julie, Kofee, Wole, Stuart, Anthony, Theo, Candice, Sara, Maxine, Heron, ….

All I know is when Jesus Calls:¬†It’s going to be so AWESOME and mind blowing.

Go DEEPER with Jesus today!

[Jesus said,] ‚ÄúIf you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit”. John 15:5

God’s children do His will for His glory.

Jesus is the ONE: Who helps us accomplish everything for His glory.

  • The Religious Leaders and Social Elite: Rejected Him.

  • The Ordinary Folks: Thought they had Him.

  • The Demons: Feared Him.

  • The Disciples: Were called by HIM: Then they were with Him, Commissioned by Him, Sent out on Mission and Accompanied by HIM. What an awesome privilege to be one of those called by Jesus: He’s calling you too.

    • You?

You might be one who’s thinking: I would love to follow Jesus; but I don’t know enough yet. (Come on St Luke’s Alpha Course).

You might be one who’s thinking: I’ve been coming for a while, but now I’d really like to go on Mission for Jesus. (Then come and talk and discover how you can serve Jesus with your gifting).

You might be one who’s NOT willing or ready to respond to Jesus call today. (Keep coming, read God’s Word, ask Him to show you and speak to you through it, learn all you can about Jesus: He’s the ONE who’s calling you and can transform your life).

He’s calling YOU to be ONE of HIS right now!

Amen!

 

Jusus IS; The LORD of the Sabbath

Cornfield Jesus woman

Daily Spirit & Word: 664: Jesus Is The LORD of the Sabbath.

“The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath”

Good morning my friends, we’ve had a wonderful few days. My wife Julie and I are looking after our little two year old grandson Karamoko. We’d normally have all three, but the older children have school. Still our daughter needs a little rest from Karamoko, she’s 39 and a bit weeks pregnant, gets tired and needed a break. He’s FULL of LIFE. When you observe a two year old, you wonder how just a few¬†mouthfuls¬†of¬†porridge¬†can produce so much energy.

On Sunday, I was preaching on the following verses from Mark’s Gospel, Jesus own disciples needed some energy, but I’m sure they didn’t know the resultant storm of opposition from evil forces that was brewing behind the scenes, that picking a few ears of corn would cause.

Mark 2:23-28 (NIV)
23 One Sabbath Jesus was going through the cornfields, and as his disciples walked along, they began to pick some ears of corn.
24 ¬†The Pharisees said to him, “Look, why are they doing what is unlawful on the Sabbath?”
25 ¬†He answered, “Have you never read what David did when he and his companions were hungry and in need?
26 ¬†In the days of Abiathar the high priest, he entered the house of God and ate the consecrated bread, which is lawful only for priests to eat. And he also gave some to his companions.”
27 ¬†Then he said to them, “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath.¬†28 ¬†So the Son of Man is Lord even of the Sabbath.”
Walking Through Cornfields:

Have you ever been in the countryside and walked through a field¬†with ripe corn? It’s an amazing feeling; it feels like you are in a sea of very long grass, with the wind blowing the corn seems to move like waves.

As Jesus, His disciples and some Pharisees walked through, some of Jesus’ disciple begin picking some ears of corn.

The Pharisees Notice: 

As stated last week, the Pharisees were the religious people of Jesus day. They tried to live according to very strict religious code of conduct, and they expected every ‘good’ Jew to do the same. Whenever someone didn’t live according to their rules and regulations, they pointed the finger, and tried to impose their code upon everyone.

The Pharisees noticed that Jesus’ disciples were picking corn, and pointed out that it was against the LAW.

Was it against the law? Were Jesus disciple being unrighteous and unholy?

Let’s looks and see what the LAW actually said about the Sabbath:

Exodus 35:2 (NIV)¬†“For six days, work is to be done, but the seventh day shall be your holy day, a Sabbath of rest to the LORD. Whoever does any work on it must be put to death.”

Exodus 20:8-11 (NIV)
8 ¬†“Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy.
9  Six days you shall labour and do all your work,
10  but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the LORD your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your manservant or maidservant, nor your animals, nor the alien within your gates.
11  For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.

On the surface, it would seem the Disciples were indeed being disobedient; after all picking corn is harvesting, right?

The Pharisees had expanded God’s Law:

They interpreted what God had given to mean; 39 Sabbath Prohibitions. Remember, these are just some of the Pharisee’s rules and regulations for a holy life.

For a Pharisee and a “good Jew” it was prohibited to do;

  • Sowing
  • Plowing
  • Reaping
  • Binding sheaves
  • Threshing
  • Winnowing
  • Selecting
  • Grinding
  • Sifting
  • Kneading
  • Baking
  • Shearing wool
  • Washing wool
  • Beating wool
  • Dyeing wool
  • Spinning
  • Weaving
  • Making two loops
  • Weaving two threads
  • Separating two threads
  • Tying
  • Untying
  • Sewing stitches
  • Tearing
  • Trapping
  • Slaughtering
  • Flaying
  • Tanning
  • Scraping hide
  • Marking hides
  • Cutting hide to shape
  • Writing two or more letters
  • Erasing two or more letters
  • Building
  • Demolishing
  • Extinguishing a fire
  • Kindling a fire
  • Putting the finishing touch on an object
  • Transporting an object between a private domain and the public domain, or for a distance of 4 cubits within the public domain.

What the Pharisees had done was identify what they deemed to be WORK: Made a list and said, “We can’t do these things”. Modern Jews follow similar guidelines, because they are living according to the LAW: Not the Spirit which gives life.

The Letter of the Law Kills.

The Spirit gives it life.

NOTE: Remember what Jesus said, “My yoke is easy, and my burden is light” Matthew 11:30. He was referring to how the Christian life can be lived in the power of the Spirit rather than on rules and regulations.

Then Jesus Disciples: Come along and pick some corn on the Sabbath.

Jesus directed the Objecting Pharisees to the Scriptures:

The Beginning of the Year 2016: Is a good time to remember what Jesus was doing here.

Whenever a question arises as to the practice of our faith, we must go along what what God has revealed in His Word. The Bible warns us “Not to add or take away” from what has been given by God in the Bible.

Jesus reminds them about King David and his companions who were hungry, and ate the consecrated bread. Jesus reminds them, It was lawful only for priests to eat this bread, but David and his companions were hungry, and because there was no other food, the Consecrated bread was the only food at hand, their hunger overrides.

However, this leaves us with a Question: 

Was Kind David breaking God’s Law?

Answer, Jesus was asking the Pharisees to do a Bible Study: to Check-out King David.

David had assured the Priest that he and his companions were¬†ritually¬†clean; They had abstained from being with women for over three days. (Why that makes a man unclean? You’ll have to do a deeper Bible study to find out, but that was the requirement that David and his companions was asked to fulfil by the Priest, before he would give him the consecrated bread of God’s presence, the shawbread.)

1 Samuel 21:3-6 (NIV) Kind David Takes The Shawbread. 
3 ¬†Now then, what have you to hand? Give me five loaves of bread, or whatever you can find.”
4 ¬†But the priest answered David, “I don’t have any ordinary bread to hand; however, there is some consecrated bread here‚ÄĒprovided the men have kept themselves from women.”
5 ¬†David replied, “Indeed women have been kept from us, as usual whenever I set out. The men’s things are holy even on missions that are not holy. How much more so today!”
6  So the priest gave him the consecrated bread, since there was no bread there except the bread of the Presence that had been removed from before the LORD and replaced by hot bread on the day it was taken away.

To discover more about the Shawbread: Read:  Leviticus 24:5-9 (NIV)
5 ¬†“Take fine flour and bake twelve loaves of bread, using two-tenths of an ephah for each loaf.
6  Set them in two rows, six in each row, on the table of pure gold before the LORD.
7  Along each row put some pure incense as a memorial portion to represent the bread and to be an offering made to the LORD by fire.
8 ¬†This bread is to be set out before the LORD regularly, Sabbath after Sabbath, on behalf of the Israelites, as a lasting covenant.¬†9 ¬†It belongs to Aaron and his sons, who are to eat it in a holy place, because it is a most holy part of their regular share of the offerings made to the LORD by fire.”

This shows us that ONLY Aaron and his sons (The Levite Priests after him) were allowed to eat this bread.

The Pharisees revered King David: Jesus asking them a question about the great king’s righteousness was not to throw them into doubt, but to show them, there are times when God’s Law is not as simple as ‘keeping rules and regulations’, it’s a matter of the heart. How pure a person is. How much a person is devoted to the LORD.

Jesus was most likely arguing; “If Kind David could eat the consecrated bread, which is lawful only for the Priests to eat, then men who are hungry on the Sabbath, whilst they have the LORD of the Sabbath with them, can also pic and eat a few grains of corn.”

Jesus was teaching them and us, the Sabbath was never meant to be a SET of RULES: But a way of life.

He said, “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath”.

It was meant to be a day, devoted to the LORD. A Holy Day and a Day of REST from their labours.

Yes God had said, “Do NO WORK on the Sabbath, it is a Holy Day, a Day to devote yourselves to Him”.

It was also to remind them about CREATION: How the LORD had made it in SIX DAYS and rested on the SEVENTH.

When you consider the Creator of all things, that the LORD made the heavens and the earth, you’ll get a much greater¬†perspective¬†on who actually provides for you, not the labour of your hands, but the Lord God almighty: The LORD of the Sabbath.

But the Pharisees had become legalistic; they were looking at everyone else, instead of focusing upon worship of the LORD.

They were looking to ensure that people kept their rules and regulations, rather than worrying about their own personal devotion and worship. They thought of themselves as a kind of holy police force.

Jesus taught: The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath.

What did Jesus mean?

It seems to me that Jesus is teaching us; there are certain times when RULES can be broken. (I.e. Work on the Sabbath: Harvesting. Work on the Sabbath; Healing). When there is NEED for things in life, like food. Or MERCY needs to be shown or exercised for someone.

We’ll see this again next week in: A Work of Mercy on the Sabbath: Jesus healing a man. Mark 3.

Here, picking some corn on the Sabbath?: is a Work of Necessity it’s NOT Harvesting: Jesus Disciples were mainly fishermen, not farmers. Because they were travelling around with the Messiah, they were going about the LORD’S HOLY WORK. (King David said, “His work was Holy”). They were hungry, NECESSITY overrides ritual and regulation. Just as much as mercy does, next week. Mark 3.

 

An Injured Pigeon:

After being a Christian for about two years, I’d become quite legalistic about getting to church on time. I never wanted to be late to Church on a Sunday. So we always set out early to walk the mile up hill to church. Five kids in tow.

One day just along the road from our house, we spotted a¬†pigeon¬†tat had been hit by a car and it’s wing was broken. My wife, Julie said, “Oh look at that poor darling creature, go and get it and we’ll take it to the vet” I protested, “Julie, we haven’t got time, we’ll be late for church”… Well, you can guess what she said, “What’s more important, getting to church or doing good?” I chased that bird for about ten minutes and finally caught it. Once in my hands I thought to myself, “What am I going to do with you now, on a Sunday?”… I took it to Brian and Sheilah’s house, our neighbours who were always very kind to animals. It turned out, we were not late for church. But I learned a valuable lesson from my wife that day.

Do GOOD on the Sabbath when God gives you the opportunity.

Don’t worry about your rules, even your own precious rules.

“The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath.”

Yes it’s important to set aside one day a week as HOLY to the LORD.

Every day for the Christian is a SABBATH DAY: Because we’ve got the LORD with us.

Every day is HOLY for the Christian: However, it’s good to follow the Bible practice of setting aside one day a week to worship the Lord. God set us an example; if it’s good enough for God, surely it’s good for us to rest one day a week from our labour.

Jesus Is LORD of the Sabbath:

The Pharisees thought they KNEW the LAW of God: But it’s like Jesus is telling them, “NO, you don’t really understand God’s Law, you don’t get it. I do, because I AM the LORD of the SABBATH.” i.e. “I’m LORD who gave the law, so I know what I was talking about when I gave that Law to Moses”…. Jesus is the LORD of the Sabbath and all the other Commands of God. He alone understands the full meaning of God’s LAW. That’s why Jesus also corrected their understanding of; Murder and Adultery. (i.e. hatred in the heart and lust in the heart). Jesus is the LORD of the Sabbath too.

NOTES: Remember that this section of Mark’s Gospel followed questions about FASTING, and is followed by them looking to see if Jesus would again ‘break’ the Sabbath laws in Mark 3. Opposition to Jesus was building in the hearts of men, but we must also remember that our battle is not against flesh and blood.

NOTES: The Sabbath was not meant to be a day of privation: God provided double the Manna for the Holy Day whilst the Israelites were wandering through the desert. Normally the Manna would only last just one day, they were to gather just enough, if they gathered too much it rotted with maggots. However, a miracle took place on the sixth day, that manna lasted long enough for two whole days and didn’t rot. That shouts out to me about God’s amazing hand of provision for a holy life, and that He wants us to remember, who it is the provides us with everything.

Our God IS and AWESOME God.

He reigns in Heaven and Earth.

He’s the CREATOR of ALL.

He gives us LIFE and Breath.

Praise HIM every DAY.

Amen!

Jesus said, “I have come that you may have life in abundance” John 10:10.

Bible References To The Sabbath Day:

Genesis 2:2-3; Exodus 16:23-29; Exodus 20:8-11; Exodus 31:12-17; Exodus 35:2-3; Leviticus 16:31; Leviticus 19:3; Leviticus 19:29-30; Leviticus 23; Leviticus 24:8; Leviticus 25:2-6; Leviticus 26:2; Leviticus 26:34-35; Leviticus 26:43; Numbers 15:32-36; Numbers 28-29; Deuteronomy 5:12-14; 2 Kings 4:23; 2 Kings 11:5-9; 1 Chronicles 9:32; 1 Chronicles 23:31; 2 Chronicles 2:4; 2 Chronicles 8:13; 2 Chronicles  23:4-8; 2 Chronicles 31:3; 2 Chronicles 36:21; Nehemiah ; Nehemiah 10:31-33; Nehemiah 13:15-22; Psalms ; Isaiah 1:13; Isaiah 56:2-7; Isaiah 58:13-14; Isaiah 66:22-23; Jeremiah 17:21-27; Lamentations 2:6; Ezekiel 20:12-24; Ezekiel 22:8; Ezekiel 22:26-31; Ezekiel 23:38; Ezekiel 44:24; Ezekiel 45:17; Ezekiel 46:1-12; Hosea 2:11; Amos 8:5; Matthew 12:1-12; Matthew 24:20-21; Matthew 28:1; Mark 1:21; Mark 2:23- 28; Mark 3:2-4; Mark 6:2; Mark 15:42; Mark 16:1; Luke 4:16; Luke 4:31; Luke 6:1-9; Luke 13:10-16; Luke 14:1-5; Luke 23:50-24:1; John 5:9-18; John 7:22-23; John ; John 19:31; Acts 1:12; Acts 13:14; Acts 13:27; Acts 13:42-43; Acts 15:21; Acts 16:13; Acts 17:2; Acts 18:4; Romans 14:5-6; Galatians 4:10-11; Colossians 2:14-17; Hebrews 4:1-11

 

New Penny Black Stamp

Daily Spirit & Word, 501: New Penny Black Stamp.

Good morning my friends, I’ve not gone mad, I know we’re in a series looking at the disciples reactions to the resurrection appearances of the Lord, and that today the focus is upon JOY and the Title should read: “Jesus Gives A New Joy” Day 17. However, imagine how everybody in the UK would feel today, if the Post Office issued a commemorative Penny Black Stamp. Because it’s 175 Years since the First Penny Black Stamp was issued. You know the old fashioned stamp? You buy it and if you stick it to a letter then the STAMP itself guaranteed delivery of your item. So my friends, the Holy Spirit guarantees delivery of God’s Word to produce great JOY in your heart today.

Penny Black Stamp

It was a magnificent idea, People all over the county could send letters, notes, parcels etc to each other for the first time and the government guaranteed that it would be delivered, all because it carried the official Post Office Stamp: The Penny Black. Can you imagine the sheer joy and delight it must have been to receive the first letter in your life? If you had a relative who’d traveled to find work, they could now keep in contact by letter. Of course letters could take a few days to arrive 175 years ago, everything was very slow back then. Horses were the main means of transportation, it was before the advent of Steam Railways, Cars and Buses. No my friends, it was either horseback or coach and letters and mail were still in their infancy. You had to trust that someone would deliver you letter and you had no way of guaranteeing that it would be delivered. Also it would take a long time to discover if your letter had been delivered or not. The Penny Black Stamp changed all of that.

Now, when we read our lesson today from John’s Gospel, you’ll note that I’ve not gone completely bonkers: We’re thinking about the disciples JOY, now let’s look at the passage together;

John 20:19-21 19 ¬†On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!”
20  After he said this, he showed them his hands and side. The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord.
21 ¬†Again Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.”

Notice what it says in verse 20; “… The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord.”

You know my friends, I want you to try and picture the scene and use your imagination, try and think what it must have been like to be one of Jesus disciples at that moment. You are perhaps; Peter, John or Mary and you’ve all gotten together three days after Jesus was tortured and killed upon the cross. You are all frightened to be there together, you imagine all sorts of horrible things happening to you if you are caught by the authorities. You can see them in your minds eyes, torturing you like the shamefully tortured Jesus’ body. You can imagine the sting of thw whip or the pain as they thrust the crown of thorns on your head. You can almost feel it, because you witnessed it just a few days ago, the memory of what they’d done to Jesus and what they could possible do to you, was still very fresh indeed. You’ve all got this dread of being captured and caught, then suddenly out of nowhere, because you’ve made certain the doors are locked anyway, Jesus stands in the midst. First you’d probably be shocked, but then Jesus utters these words; “Peace be with you” You know it’s Jesus’ voice. You recognise the voice of the Master. But your mind is doing summersaults, “it can’t be, He’s dead, but He’s here, how can He be here? He’s alive, no Jesus died, but yet I can hear his voice. Am I dreaming? Is this a ghost or a dream?”¬†I know that my mind would be racing like this: but then slowly it begins to sink in; “This IS Jesus, that was His voice I just heard, He really IS here with us now” Then your surprise and shock give way to a Tsunami of Joy. Wave, after wave or Tsunami like Joy floods you soul.

Now can you see what I meant about the Penny Black? The Joy of having been contacted by a loved one hundreds of milse away, they actually touched this paper and put a pen to it and wrote upon it for you. Oh the Joy of the personal letter from a loved one, addressed to you personally. You’d look at your name, see the marvellous new innovative Queen or King’s Head on the Penny Black Stamp. WOWzer! You’d be over the moon, cock a hoop.

What does Over-the-moon mean? It was a phrase popularised by Private Eye who took-the-micky (made fun of) English football managers and their use of the English language. They would string phrases and words together that don’t make any sense at all. “Cock-a-hoop”, (filled with Joy), “over-the-moon” etc, would be used to express the sheer delight that their team had won a victory. i.e. “We were over-the-moon about the fact that we trounced Manchester 2-0”.

So my friends, the disciples would have been OVER THE MOON about Jesus resurrection. OVERJOYED.

Other Football Manager Quotes:

(You’ll not the funny side in a little while).

Football Manager Quotes:

  • “The Spaniards have been reduced to aiming aimless balls into the box.” (Ron Atkinson)
  • “If you can’t stand the heat in the dressing room, get out of the kitchen.” (Terry Venables)
  • “If Glenn Hoddle said one word to his team at half time, it was concentration and focus.” (Ron Atkinson)
  • “I felt a lump in my throat as the ball went in.” (Terry Venables)

These quotes are nonsensical, very funny and humorous, but they’re not intended to be. They’re what we’d call bleepers, bloops or silly mistakes of English grammar.¬†You can just imagine Terry Venables swallowing a huge football down his throat can’t you. LOL.

Over the Moon: Was a phrase like that, it means, really, really happy, full of joy or as the Bible has said today about the Disciples upon seeing the Lord and hearing His voice, “They were OVERJOYED”

Cock a hoop is another phrase to express happiness, I’ll let you look that one up on Google yourself though. Have fun my friends.

OVERJOYED

Dave Smith, In his little book to accompany this series, talks about dogs wagging their tails when they see the master coming with breakfast. Even dogs can be overjoyed my friends.

You can be OVERJOYED too my friends.¬†When you see a letter with your name, personally hand-written, it produces and air of expectation. You wonder who it was from, you turn it over to see if they’ve put a return address upon it. Nope, you open it up and you note immediately where it’s addressed from, and who signed it.

Notice that word: OVERJOYED. The disciples were not just joyed by seeing Jesus. It was no ordinary joy or happiness, as if we’re seeing a long lost friend, but imagine the delight you’d experience if you were to meet a dearly loved relative or friend if they came back from the dead? That’s what it means for the Disciples to be OVER-Joyed.

The PENNY BLACK: Guaranteed Delivery.

That’s what it’s like with the Bible: It’s God’s Book, It’s His LOVE LETTER addressed to YOU personally. It can produce the same JOY the disciples felt my friends, It’s like it’s got your own personal PENNY BLACK STAMP of guaranteed delivery, right into your heart today. You see my friends, the Bible’s Penny Black is God The Holy Spirit: who inspired the Bible to be written and who also enables us to understand the words contained within. (Spiritually discerned truth)

1 Corinthians 2:10-14 10  but God has revealed it to us by his Spirit. The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God.
11 ¬†For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the man’s spirit within him? In the same way no-one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God.
12  We have not received the spirit of the world but the Spirit who is from God, that we may understand what God has freely given us.
13  This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, expressing spiritual truths in spiritual words.
14  The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned.

In other words, only the PERSON with the SPIRIT can understand God’s WORD. He’s like the Penny Black Stamp of authority and delivers God’s Word right into your heart today. Have you been filled with and OVERJOYED by the Holy Spirit.

Just as the Disciples were OVERJOYED by the LORD Jesus Presence my friends. So will you be when the Holy Spirit ushers in the presence of the Lord into your life today. Seek Him, seek the fullness and then you too will be OVERJOYED.

For over 2000 years the Bible has been delivering God’s message, with much more certainty than the New Penny Black Stamp ever could, because His message goes right into your heart and produces so much Joy, you’ll be over the moon, cock a hoop, filled with sheer delight. OVERJOYED. Not just happy, but OVER-JOYED. WOWzer! Who ever said that following Jesus would make life boring? It’s full of surprises and sheer delight and joy. Be OVERJOYED today, get the New Penny Black Stamp on your Heart, let it stick there forever by the Holy Spirit and the Lord Jesus will be your seal on your heart, you’ll know Him as Lord and Saviour forever.

Overjoyed when the New Penny Black Stamp was issued! Imagine what it must have been like for the disciples seeing, hearing and touching the RESURRECTED Lord Jesus Christ. WOWzer! OVERJOYED.

My friends, when you call upon Jesus today, you too can experience that same level of JOY. You’ll not have to work it up within yourself though, because you automatic response to the presence of the Lord Jesus Christ is going to be awesome; but eventually it will burst forth in to great JOY.

Have and exciting and JOY-Filled day my friends: The New Penny Black Stamp.

40 Days With Jesus: Day 17: Jesus Gives A New Joy. (As did the Penny Black Stamp), but much, much greater.

God bless and keep you all,

Don.

p.s. Did you notice that the Penny Black Stamp is on Google today?¬† ūüė鬆 ūüė鬆 ūüėé