Jesus Christ Is Alive Today

Why are you looking for the living among the dead, He is not here, He is risen

Daily Spirit & Word: 712: Happy Resurrection Sunday

The Angel said to the Crowd of Ladies who went to the Tomb of Jesus, “Why do you look for the living among the dead, He is not here; He has risen”

I love that song / hymn of praise “Jesus Christ is alive today, I know, I know it’s true” But how can we KNOW for sure? You need to meet the Risen Saviour.

On this Resurrection Sunday, I want to say, “Happy Easter: i.e. I want all of you to have an enjoyable holiday time with friends, family, children with Easter Eggs and a lovely Easter Sunday Dinner etc, but I’m looking for another word, other than Easter, because it’s not Easter we Christians are celebrating, but the Resurrected LIFE of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. So I’m going to say, “Happy Resurrection Sunday” instead.

Let’s share that with Each other NOW: Say to your friends and family members, “Happy Resurrection Sunday”… Let the world KNOW we’re really celebrating the fact the Jesus Christ has risen from the dead.

GREETING ON Resurrection Sunday:

The Traditional Greeting on Resurrection Sunday is: “Christ is Risen”, and the crowds respond with, “He has Risen indeed, Alleluia”.

THE GOSPEL MESSAGE

1 Corinthians 15:1-8 (NIV)
1
 Now, brothers, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you received and on which you have taken your stand.
2  By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain.
3  For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures,
4  that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures,
5  and that he appeared to Peter, and then to the Twelve.
6  After that, he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers at the same time, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep.
7  Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles,
8  and last of all he appeared to me also, as to one abnormally born.

He is not here, he has risen
Why are you looking for the living among the dead?

1) Getting Ready For Resurrection Sunday:

Before we came to church today, we washed our faces (I hope 🙂 ). We did this to get ready to meet and greet one another. We did it to come before Jesus in worship. However, the Lord Jesus wants us to get ready in another way, to get ready for Resurrection Sunday.

Luke 23:50-56, 24:1-12 (NIV) Women Get Spices and Perfume Ready.
50 Now there was a man named Joseph, a member of the Council, a good and upright man,
51  who had not consented to their decision and action. He came from the Judean town of Arimathea and he was waiting for the kingdom of God.
52  Going to Pilate, he asked for Jesus’ body.
53  Then he took it down, wrapped it in linen cloth and placed it in a tomb cut in the rock, one in which no-one had yet been laid.
54  It was Preparation Day, and the Sabbath was about to begin.
55  The women who had come with Jesus from Galilee followed Joseph and saw the tomb and how his body was laid in it.
56  Then they went home and prepared spices and perfumes. But they rested on the Sabbath in obedience to the commandment.

Those women didn’t know that Jesus was alive, they thought they were going to anoint a dead body with spices and perfumes, but what a shock and wonderful surprise they were about to get.

We too can get ourselves ready for Resurrection Sunday: By coming to Jesus and being forgiven and purified from all our sins.

Jesus died upon that Cross so that we can be forgiven: Let’s make sure we’re smelling good for Jesus today. Confess any known sin in your life right now. Take time to do this: Perfumed and Perfect in Christ: Forgiven and Cleansed from all sin. His blood purifies us from ALL SIN.

 

2) Getting Revelation On Resurrection Sunday: Bible Reading.

Easter Eggs: Shape of a Stone: The Stone The Angels Rolled Away.

Luke 24:1-12 (NIV) Revelation For Resurrection Sunday.
1 On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, the women took the spices they had prepared and went to the tomb.
2  They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, 3  but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus.
4  While they were wondering about this, suddenly two men in clothes that gleamed like lightning stood beside them.
5  In their fright the women bowed down with their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, “Why do you look for the living among the dead? 6  He is not here; he has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee: 7  ‘The Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.’ “
8  Then they remembered his words.
9  When they came back from the tomb, they told all these things to the Eleven and to all the others.
10  It was Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and the others with them who told this to the apostles.
11  But they did not believe the women, because their words seemed to them like nonsense.
12  Peter, however, got up and ran to the tomb. Bending over, he saw the strips of linen lying by themselves, and he went away, wondering to himself what had happened.

Did you get your revelation today? I got mine, because I didn’t realise that there were so many women at the tomb that day. I’ve been reading these same passages for over 30 years now, I’ve never noticed it was more than THREE… There was a crowd of ladies, we don’t know how many, but more than three.

I got another revelation: In every encounter with the Resurrected Christ there’s: Revelation (He’s not dead or they meet him, the see him, they can touch him, he eats with them. Then Jesus or the Angels instruct those to whom revelation is given. Then they are commissioned: Go and Tell… WOWzer! That’s the same for you and me.

3) Getting Your Commission On Resurrection Sunday. (GO).

In a few moments I’m going to say “Go” You’ll go and find some Easter Eggs hidden in the Church… But I want to say a bit more about How The Lord Commissioned Us: But I want you to see: That at each encounter with Jesus Resurrection: There’s Revelation, Physical Proof, Explanation / Instruction from the Scriptures and Commission.

After the Road To Emmaus: Luke 24:13-35. Jesus shows up again.

Luke 24:36-49 (NIV) Jesus Appeared, Showed hands and feet, ate, explained the Scriptures, commissioned and blessed.
36  While they were still talking about this, Jesus himself stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.”
37  They were startled and frightened, thinking they saw a ghost.
38  He said to them, “Why are you troubled, and why do doubts rise in your minds?
39  Look at my hands and my feet. It is I myself! Touch me and see; a ghost does not have flesh and bones, as you see I have.”
40  When he had said this, he showed them his hands and feet.
41  And while they still did not believe it because of joy and amazement, he asked them, “Do you have anything here to eat?”
42  They gave him a piece of broiled fish, 43  and he took it and ate it in their presence.
44  He said to them, “This is what I told you while I was still with you: Everything must be fulfilled that is written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms.” (The History, Writings and Poetry of Scripture Reveal Christ).
45  Then he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures.
46  He told them, “This is what is written: The Christ will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day,
47  and repentance and forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.
48  You are witnesses of these things. 49  I am going to send you what my Father has promised (The Holy Spirit); but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.”

What JOY!
What Amazement!

Imagine seeing your beloved Messiah again after He died upon the Cross: Alive? After the beating, the betrayal, the brutality; ALIVE…

NOTICE: At each of the Resurrection Appearances in Luke’s Gospel: there is first Revelation, then Explanation, then Commission.

My friends, when you Come to Faith in Jesus: i.e. You know Him, that He is ALIVE.

Then you get to know more about Him from the Bible, the Scriptures.

Then you get to Go for Him, to tell the world: Beginning in your family, neighbourhood, area, country, world.

Go and be His Witnesses: Tell about the Resurrected Lord, The Crucified Lord, The Ascended Lord, The Power of the Lord through His Holy Spirit. You go and you tell… For when you tell FAITH COMES to those who’s hearts have been prepared by the Holy Spirit. (Rom 10:17)

My friends, we who believe in The Resurrected Living Lord Jesus Christ have been truly blessed; we have received;

  • Revelation: We KNOW Jesus is Alive. We can say, “He’s my Lord”.
  • Explanation: Instruction in the Scriptures / Bible about Jesus and God’s Word / Commands. (Discipleship).
  • Empowerment: New Birth from the Holy Spirit and New Life and New Power (Gifts and presence of Holy Spirit).
  • Commission: Go and tell… Go with Jesus (He’s with you when you go in His Name)… Be obedient Go and Tell… When was the last time you share the Gospel with someone about Jesus?
  • Excitement: When you know the Resurrected Jesus, through faith, belief, repentance and having received Him as your Lord. You’ll experience the Excitement of The Abundant Life (More than happiness, peace and joy)… John 10:10. Philemon 1:6. You’ll get a DEEPER Knowledge of all these good things we have in Christ, through sharing our faith in Him.

Imagine: Charging up your Mobile Phone every day. And never turning it on to talk with someone.

That’s what it’s like if you are a Christian who’s constantly getting filled with the Holy Spirit and NEVER USING your anointing to do anything good with it. When you know the Resurrected Lord Jesus Christ and have been discipled for a while, then He’s commission you too, to go and use your Holy Spirit gifts for His Kingdom Service. GO!

Worship is great, but you’ll get much more, much more, much more REVELATION and ANOINTING if you use the GIFTS He’s already given to you. Share Jesus with everyone, be generous with your anointing, be gracious with your anointing. The world needs to know the Resurrected Lord Jesus Christ.

You know the Resurrected LORD? Good, now go and tell someone about Him. Share Jesus… Have an AWESOME Resurrection Sunday.

Pease and Joy in Jesus.

Don.

1 Corinthians 15:55 (NIV) 

“Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?”

 

Why Did Jesus Die On The Cross?

Sharing the Good News with Graham on Good Friday

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Praise the LORD for Gospel conversations.

Praise the LORD for Good Friday

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

Good Friday Answers

Get closer to Jesus to get your answers to questions today

Daily Spirit & Word: 710:

Get Your Answer by Asking The Saviour.

Good Friday

Good morning my friends, it’s finally here, GOOD FRIDAY. The day when Christians, followers of Jesus Christ, are gathering together all over the world to REMEMBER what our Saviour did for us upon the Cross.

But before the Cross came the betrayal. Judas was the one.

John 13:22-27 (NIV)
22  His disciples stared at one another, at a loss to know which of them he meant.
23  One of them, the disciple whom Jesus loved, was reclining next to him.
24  Simon Peter motioned to this disciple and said, “Ask him which one he means.”
25  Leaning back against Jesus, he asked him, “Lord, who is it?”
26  Jesus answered, “It is the one to whom I will give this piece of bread when I have dipped it in the dish.” Then, dipping the piece of bread, he gave it to Judas Iscariot, son of Simon.
27  As soon as Judas took the bread, Satan entered into him. “What you are about to do, do quickly,” Jesus told him,

What struck me from this passage this morning, that I’ve never seen before, if you want an answer to a riddle ASK THE SAVIOUR. John, the Disciple whom Jesus loves, was sitting right next to Jesus and prompted by Peter asks the Saviour who it is that’s going to betray Him.

“It’s the ONE to whom I give this bread after dipping it in the wine.”

The Bread (Jesus body) The Wine (Jesus blood)… He was putting his life in Judas’ hands.

WOWzer! Praise the Lord for revelation.

We can draw near to Jesus every day; in Prayer and Reading His Word; be like John the Apostle, get closer to Jesus and get your answers. Peter needed to ask John to ask Jesus, because he was not as close to Jesus as John. Be like John and get closer to Jesus than ever before in your life. You too can be THE DISCIPLE WHOM JESUS LOVED.

Today, as we Walk in Witness through the Streets of London, let’s Praise the Lord Jesus.

If you’ve got a question upon your heart today, then why don’t you just get close to Jesus and ask the Creator of all things, the Lord Jesus Christ.

Get Your Answer By Asking The Saviour: The Lord Jesus Christ. Amen!

Have an awesome weekend.

Stay close to Jesus, be filled afresh with God’s Spirit today,

Don.

NOTE: Walk of Witness: Gathering at Tulse Hill Methodist Church @9.45am. Walk begins at 10.00am and finishes at St Luke’s Church, West Norwood @11.15am. Then into the church for fellowship afterwards.

Come and walk with Jesus.

 

Jesus is the Lamb of God

Street Witnessing, Gospel Proclamation, West Norwood, London, Don Davis, Muslims, Islam,

Daily Spirit & Word: 709: The Sacrificial Lamb.

It’s the Sacrificial Lamb that takes away the sins of the whole world, the Lord Jesus Christ was that innocent, spotless, pure and holy Lamb of God.

Jesus Is That Lamb Of God

Good morning my friends, what an awesome evening of street witnessing last night.

Our numbers of regulars on the team are growing. Praise the Lord! Last night; Ben and Judy, David and Sherrie and Matthew and Gemma came. Lloyd couldn’t make it, but he’ll be back next week. We did some training by watching Ray Comfort’s latest video. He was preaching at a Youth Evangelism Conference: His teaching was about “The Greatest Sin in America Today”… You’ll have to watch it (Link at bottom of page).

After getting into conversation about the Video (The main theme being the Idolatrous Sin of America and false Gospel of Just believe in Jesus) we started out later than usual, about 6.20pm. But even though it was quite dark, people stopped and chatted. It was slow to begin with, mainly handing out tracts for Sherrie and I, but then we started getting into good Gospel conversations. Our intention when going out is not just to give people the message or hand out tracts, but to get into conversation with them about Jesus. In the end Sherrie and I had about 8-10 Muslim men all firing questions at us about Jesus Christ. Here in London we’re blessed with people from all over the world and South London, West Norwood, has a growing population of Muslims. I say blessed, because it gives us the opportunity to reach a world-wide audience for Jesus. Some of the men had met me before, we’d given them tracts, they’d obviously been reading them and it had sparked their questions. They asked things like;

  • Who was Jesus?
  • Was Jesus the Son of God?
  • How can God have a Son?
  • If Jesus was God, then did God die upon the Cross?
  • If you say, as we do that there is only ONE God, then how can Jesus be God and the Father be God, that doesn’t make sense to us?

These were really great questions; but then came their statements of what they believed: That Jesus was just a prophet, he died, he didn’t rise from the dead, but we believe he’ll come back again after another prophet Mohammed. We don’t believe that Jesus was God.

Changed the subject: Into a presentation of the Gospel.

I asked them all, “Do you think you’ll get into Heaven when you die?”

Each one thought they would. It’s helpful when you have a large crowd to ask each person listening individually, I did this quickly by saying, “What about you?” Then I asked why will you get into Heaven? They all said, “God will forgive us if we say we’re sorry for sinning”… Some added “Genuinely sorry”.

I said, “That’s just so typical, not just of Muslims, but everybody who doesn’t yet know Jesus Christ. Nearly everyone believes that God will forgive them anyway, no matter how they’ve lived, if they are sorry for their sins. Most people believe they are already good enough for Heaven, i.e. they’re not so bad as to deserve Hell forever.

My next statement got their attention: “God will not forgive you just because you are sorry for sinning”. There was a shocked look on some of their faces. I asked them, “What happens to a person caught in the act of stealing in the Middle East?” They all said, “They’ll get their hands chopped off”… Why? “Because it’s Sharia Law”… I said, “That’s right, Sharia Law is Just and must punish those who do wrong, just like UK law, but we don’t chop-off their hands.”… You can bet that every thief caught stealing in the Middle East is “Sorry for Stealing”, because they know they’ll loose their hands, right?” Then I said, “God is far more just than any earthly legal system; In His Holy Righteous Judgement, He’s already stated, “The Soul that sins shall die” no sinner can enter into His Holy Heaven” It’s amazing, they all nodded in agreement.

But they then went onto re-state their beliefs, “God will forgive us if we are genuinely sorry”… Most of them were still trying to justify themselves, but not all by now.

I said, “Listen my friends”, I asked each one their names, and continued, “Even if we’re genuinely sorry for our sins, God cannot just forgive us, He must punish sin, if we’ve not had our sins removed from our souls before we die, then we die carrying those sins with us to face God on Judgement day. “It’s like a thief appearing before a High Court Judge, admitting “guilty as charged your honour, but I’m really sorry”, then the just earthly Judge will say, “Good, I’m glad you are genuinely sorry, I’ll take that into consideration when passing sentence, but I must also punish you for your crime”… A just earthly judge will pass a fine or a term in prison. A holy and righteous God has already revealed what the punishment will be for any sin, eternity in Hell with Satan and his demons. The soul that sins will be cast into the lake of fire with Satan.

The Muslim young men all agreed, but were still clinging to their beliefs that God will just forgive them. I then went through the Commandments with them asking them individually,

“Have you ever stolen something?” They all admitted they had. I said, “The Bible clearly states that no thief can enter into God’s Holy Heaven”.

“Have you ever told a lie?” They all admitted they had. I said, “That breaks God’s 9th Commandment and no liar can enter into Heaven, they’ll have their place in the lake of fire”…

God’s standards of Holiness are far higher and out of reach than our own, so of course we want to justify ourselves. We don’t want to go to Hell do we?

Now imagine how you’d feel if someone, knowing we were all going to be justly condemned to Hell by God’s justice, came into this world and said, “I’m going to take their punishment, I’m going to die in their place for their sins. So that when they appear before God, He’ll allow them in to Heaven, because their sins have been taken away”… How do you think they’d feel about that person?”

The Muslim men said, “You are talking about Jesus and His death upon the Cross”… Yes I said, “Jesus came to die, He was God, but in His love and mercy, God sent His One and Only Son to die in our place upon the Cross, so that everyone who puts their faith and trust in Him and His death, can be forgiven for every sin, cleansed in body and soul, and made fit for entrance into Heaven”…

I asked them, “Does that make sense to you”… Each one said it did, but some of them still wanted more questions answered… I gave them a little booklet about Jesus, “Why did Jesus have to die?”…

Can you see my friends, it’s the LAW of God, the Commandments of God, that shuts the mouth of self-justification, because like a good schoolmaster it leads people to a knowledge of how they’ve sinned against God and their need of a Saviour, i.e. someone who’ll take away their sin and save them from God’s wrath and judgement to come.

Jesus Christ is the Lamb of God, the only pure and holy sacrifice, who takes away the sins of the world. When we put our faith and trust in Him, then all our sins are washed away. When we get baptised we’re showing the world we’ve trusted in Jesus, we’re dead to our old way of living and when we come-up out of the water, we begin to live the new life in Christ Jesus. We’re filled with God’s Holy Spirit, who comes into our soul, gives us New Birth and enables us to live a holy life that pleases God.

Because of the Lamb of God, Jesus who died upon the Cross, His blood cleanses us from sin and enables us to enter into Heaven when we die. Praise the Lord! We have passed from death to life.

We may never know what will happen with those Muslim young men, I’m praying the Lord will give them; Faith to believe in Jesus Christ, Repentance from Sin, New Life and Eternal Life… Will you join me in prayer for them now? As we shook their hands, they wanted us to stay and answer more questions, we invited them to come and join us on Alpha.

Tonight: We’re celebrating the Lord’s Last Supper as we gather in Church. We have all the elements of the traditional Passover and read from God’s Word about the Israelite’s first Passover, then teach about Jesus new meaning of the blood sacrifice from the Gospels.

Matthew 26:26-30 (NIV) Jesus’ Last Passover Meal.
26  While they were eating, Jesus took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to his disciples, saying, “Take and eat; this is my body.”
27  Then he took the cup, gave thanks and offered it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you.
28  This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.
29  I tell you, I will not drink of this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it anew with you in my Father’s kingdom.”
30  When they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.
The Blood of the New Covenant: Jesus blood sacrifice upon the Cross was to remove and cleanse, to wash away the sins of everyone who trusts in Him. Why do we need our sins washed away? If we died without being cleansed then we’d still be in our sins and we’d face God’s righteous judgement. So my friends, TRUST in Jesus today: Believe that He died for your forgiveness, Repent (renounce and let go of sin), Receive Jesus Christ as your own Lord and Saviour, then LIVE the new life that He’ll give you as you are born of His Holy Spirit.

 

Have an awesome weekend of celebration of all that Jesus has done.

NOTE: Ray Comfort’s Teaching: “The Greatest Sin in America Today“. It’s not just America’s Greatest Sin, but the sin of a growing number of people in the world today.

 

NOTES: The Function of God’s Law:

The Function of God’s Law

The Purpose of God’s Law

1.      What is it that the Bible says is “perfect, converting the soul”?

The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple. (Psalms 19:7)

It is the Law of the Lord which is perfect for converting the soul.

2.      According to the Bible, what are four functions of the Law?

Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God. Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin. (Romans 3:19-20)

What shall we say then? Is the law sin? God forbid. Nay, I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet. (Romans 7:7)

Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. (Galatians 3:24)

A.     Brings the knowledge of sin.

B.     Stops the sinner’s mouth from justifying itself.

C.    Helps the world to realize that they are guilty of sin by breaking God’s Commandments.
D.    Acts as a schoolmaster to bring us to a knowledge of our need of Jesus Christ and His atoning death upon the Cross.

3.      What is the biblical definition of sin?

Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law. (1 John 3:4)

The biblical definition of sin is anyone who has broken God’s Law. Romans 3:20 tells us that “by the law is the knowledge of sin.” The straight edge of a ruler will always show the crookedness of a line. A lamb looks white against a green backdrop of grass, but in a snowy field that dirt upon the lamb is revealed. Dust in the air is invisible until you open up the curtains and let the sunlight in, then you’ll see millions of dust particles floating all around. So the LAW shows the sinner his true condition before God.

4.      Who is the Law designed for?

But we know that the law is good, if a man use it lawfully; Knowing this, that the law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and for sinners, for unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers, For whoremongers, for them that defile themselves with mankind, for menstealers, for liars, for perjured persons, and if there be any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine; (1 Timothy 1:8-10)

The Law is designed for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and for sinners, for unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers, for whoremongers, homosexuals, for kidnappers, for liars, for perjurers, and any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine.

5.      What has modern evangelism chosen to attract sinners to the Gospel?

Modern evangelism has chosen to attract sinners by using the “benefits.” Life enhancement is now used to draw someone to Christ. Many promises are made in which God will:

q     Fill that “God-shaped vacuum” in your heart.

q     Give you true happiness.

q     Get you out of financial difficulty.

q     Heal a broken relationship with your spouse, etc.

q     Take away that addiction problem.
Give you last, happiness, peace and joy….

6.      What happens when all the promised “benefits” don’t arrive?

“Accepting Christ” for the promised “benefits” is simply the wrong reason to do so – it is unbiblical. When the promised benefits fail to arrive, disillusionment and bitterness will grow against God and the person who witnessed to them. This makes it very hard to reach a person who thinks they’ve been ‘born again’ when they’ve really only tried a form of religion, i.e. they were false converts from the start.

7.      Why should a person accept Jesus Christ as their Saviour?

Use the Law to show a person their depravity and the appointment they have with death, one which they will not miss. Unless they repent, and put on the Lord Jesus Christ, they will die in their sins. They need to know that they are an enemy of God through their wicked works and that God will judge them in righteousness.

By simply using the Law of God, revealed in His Ten Commandments, and showing an unsaved person their need for a Saviour, it opens the door for us to share how Jesus Christ is the Only Good News for a soul on it’s way to Hell.
The Law also reveals the desperate condition of people in this world, they need a Saviour, who’s going to go out and seek and save the Lost?

 

 

From The Miracles to The Miracle Maker

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

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

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

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

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

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

Jesus Close Friends Get The Revelations:

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

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

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

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

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

The Fallen Believer Runs To Jesus:

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

First: Peter Puts on His Outer Garment:

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

From the Miracles to the Miracle Maker

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

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

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

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

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

Next: Peter Dives Into The Water:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Points to Ponder:

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

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

Prayer:

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

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

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

Doubting Thomas

The day that Doubting Thomas met Jesus

Daily Spirit & Word, 504: Doubting Thomas.

The Difference Between Honest Doubts and Stubborn Unbelief.

40 Days With Jesus. Day 20: Doubting Thomas.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Doubting Thomas
Doubting Thomas

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

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

Have an AWESOME Bank Holiday MONDAY.

Don.

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

 

 

 

 

 

Jesus Gives A New Hope

Daily Spirit & Word, 500: Jesus Gives A New Hope.

40 Days With Jesus, Day 16: Jesus Gives A New Hope.

 

Today, we can see how that same Christian HOPE that we shared so confidently on the streets last night, was first sparked into ignition on the evening of Easter Sunday, when Jesus appeared in the upper room to the Disciples who were locked in in fear. We saw yesterday, that Jesus gave his followers New PEACE, today we’re going to discover the NEW HOPE.

First when Jesus appeared He said PEACE, then He began to give them physical EVIDENCE of who He was. You see my friends, His followers thought that they were seeing a GHOST  or a Phantom or a Spirit, because of the miraculous way that Jesus appeared. What would you have thought my friends, if you were them, locked into your house and suddenly in the same room a person appears from nowhere. You too would think it’s a ghost or a dream or a vision, wouldn’t you. Jesus knew that, He knew what they were thinking and then decided to give them as much evidence as they needed to be reassured that He really was alive, that He’d come back from the dead.

Look again at the passage from our reading this week and watch out for the Physical Evidences that Jesus gives.

John 20:19-23 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.”
22  And with that he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit.
23  If you forgive anyone his sins, they are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.”

WOWzer! So it’s not only PEACE, but physical, real and tangible proof that He’s with them in the room. Luke’s has gone much further than John in his Gospel account of this incident.

Luke 24:36-49 36  While they were still talking about this, Jesus himself stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.”
37  They were startled and frightened, thinking they saw a ghost.
38  He said to them, “Why are you troubled, and why do doubts rise in your minds?
39  Look at my hands and my feet. It is I myself! Touch me and see; a ghost does not have flesh and bones, as you see I have.”
40  When he had said this, he showed them his hands and feet.
41  And while they still did not believe it because of joy and amazement, he asked them, “Do you have anything here to eat?”
42  They gave him a piece of broiled fish,
43  and he took it and ate it in their presence.
44  He said to them, “This is what I told you while I was still with you: Everything must be fulfilled that is written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms.”
45  Then he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures.
46  He told them, “This is what is written: The Christ will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day,
47  and repentance and forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.
48  You are witnesses of these things.
49  I am going to send you what my Father has promised; but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.”

Notice in Luke’s account: The disciples didn’t believe it (the resurrection or that it was Jesus). Why? Because of JOY and AMAZEMENT and THINKING it was GHOST.

  • Our Joy can deceive us.
  • Our Amazement can deceive us.
  • Our Thinking can deceive us.

So Jesus goes much further and shows them: His hands, His side, His feet (I’m certain if some of the others had written they’d have said, his head, His back as well.). But these just go to prove beyond doubt that Jesus was a real person. But He didn’t stop a mere physical evidences. He said to them, because He knew that they still thought he was a ghost, “Give me something to eat”… Then He explained, “A ghost doesnt’ have flesh and bones as I have and a ghost can’t eat can it?”

“He showed them; His; HANDS, FEET and SIDE.”

“A GHOST doesn’t have FLESH and BONE”

“Give ME something to EAT”

This is such convincing proof AND evidence my friends, that so many agnostics and doubters having read this account in the Bible have become believers in the Lord Jesus Christ. This evidence transformed the disciples and once they received the promised Holy Spirit on Pentecost Sunday 40 days later, they took that same message, “We’ve seen the resurrected LORD” around the world. It’s still going around the world, Jesus is still alive today and it’s possible for people to meet Him. Of course our encounters today aren’t physical, but non-the-less, they are REAL encounters, that will convince you and you’ll KNOW that you’ve met the risen Jesus.

hope.screenshop
Jesus Gives a NEW HOPE

 HOPE: Gives Gospel Encounters:

We had another wonderful night of sharing the Good News of Jesus on the Streets of London my friends. There were great conversations, Gospel moments and prayers with people. Even a young man, who it seemed just wanted to race through his arguments and objections to believing the Bible, though he proclaimed belief in God. When he’d reached the end of his flow of words, we knew it was a smoke-screen, and a diversion, because, we looked beyond argument and reasoning for the power of the Kingdom of Heaven, and it came into his life as we shared the risen Lord Jesus. It’s always amazing, though we should expect the same Kingdom things to happen today as they did in the times of the Apostles and first believers and we really should not be surprised. We continued discussing and by-passed his mind and called upon the internal ally with him, his conscience, and it came to life, did it’s job and brought conviction. He knew now how he’d offended a holy and righteous God. We prayed and parted company and he left us uplifted and enlightened. He promised to come and worship and to keep reading His Bible. Hopefully he’ll find the place to worship the Lord and the desire to keep reading God’s Word. Just one conversation from last night please pray for the many that were touched and challenged and encouraged to consider the Lord Jesus.

So we can see today, that it wasn’t just Thomas, doubting Thomas, who needed physical proof that Jesus had risen from the dead, but every single one of His followers. You too need convincing my friends, you too need a divine encounter with Jesus and thankfully Jesus will not disappoint. He’ll provide everyone who responds to the Gospel with the same kinds of proofs, that He’s real and alive today. He’ll come to you in so many wonderful ways and you’ll KNOW.

Electrical POWER

For me the best way to explain how I know Jesus is real is like this:

I was an electrician for many years before I became a Pastor and Evangelist. I’d been shocked by Electricity many times. I knew from experience and pain, that if I touch an open electrical wire or contact, with the power still on, that it will hurt and the electrical energy and power will surge through my body. It’s the same when we finally decide to BELIEVE, REPENT, TRUST AND RECEIVE the Lord Jesus. He comes into a believer’s life. He comes in such a way that you KNOW that He’s inside. He’ll give you a NEW HOPE: Hope that will never leave you. Hope that will stay, even if circumstances don’t go well. Hope that is with you through every single storm. Jesus is in YOU. You’ll also see evidence in your Character as the Holy Spirit begins to change you to become more like Jesus on the inside and in the way that you interact with people in the world. You’ll see the fruit and the evidence of increasing; LOVE, JOY, PEACE, PATIENCE, GOODNESS, FAITHFULNESS GENTLENESS AND SELF-CONTROL. You’ll love God more, you’ll love His Word, you’ll love gathering with the brothers and sisters in God’s family. This is empirical evidence and cumulative evidence that will enable you to go out into the world and serve the risen Saviour. He’s in the World today and He wants to give that SAME HOPE to every single person alive as well.

Have an exciting, empowered and enthusiastic day of NEW HOPE with Jesus today.

Stay blessed in Him my friends,

Don.

Points to Ponder on Day 16 of 40 Days With Jesus.

  • In a world that believes that death has the last word, can anything be a truly lasting success?

  • How does the idea of Jesus resurrection transform our disappointments over what we might have failed to achieve?

  • Hoe hopeful do you feel about your future today? Do you need to ask God to heal any sense you have had of feeling ‘hopeless’? Take some times to reflect on the great FUTURE that is awaiting and available to you today, because of what Jesus Christ has done for you. His resurrection gives you hope today of an eternity with Him, beginning NOW and LASTING FOREVER.

PRAYER:

Dear Lord Jesus Christ, I’m thanking you right now for the glorious new hope that you give me every day. Not just hope for now, but for my eternity with You. I’m looking forward to Heaven and I have that deep assurance within my heart that You are able to keep me going with You through all the storms that will come in my life. I’m praying for everyone I know today, who needs that same Hope Lord, that You’ll come to them and draw them to Yourself by the Holy Spirit. Let Your love touch every heart and bring them the same New Hope in their hearts. Amen.

40 Days With Jesus Home Page

Jesus Gives a New Hope. Day 16 of 40 Days With Jesus.

The Triumphal Entry

The Triumphal Entry

Daily Spirit & Word, 474: The Triumphal Entry.

Jesus Arrives in Jerusalem.

 

Jesus Christ: The Son of David

Good morning my friends, today I’m posting yesterday’s theme for our Sunday worship. It was Palm Sunday 2015. Jesus Authority and Humility Revealed.

Celebrations sometimes signify honour being bestowed on one or more people. When it’s someone’s birthday, anniversary etc.

  • Think about the most exciting celebration, party or parade you’ve attended.

What / Who was it for?

What made it so memorable?

How did it make you feel?

Personally, I love parades and parties, because one of my other passions is photography and being a photographer there’s nothing more exciting for me that to see people happy, enjoying themselves and I try and capture the feelings and atmosphere of events. I got some great pictures of the Queen and many other royals as they passed me by on the Mall in London during the Trooping of the Colours. The crowds were also very happy to see the Queen, you should have seen their faces and waving arms with flags. So many had their mobile phones and iPads out ready to snap the Queen.A Palm Sunday

Bible Reading: Today’s Bible lesson shows how a celebration for Jesus signified not just His Royal Authority but also His Servant Humility.

Mark 11:1-11

1 As they approached Jerusalem and came to Bethphage and Bethany at the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two of his disciples, 2  saying to them, “Go to the village ahead of you, and just as you enter it, you will find a colt tied there, which no-one has ever ridden. Untie it and bring it here. 3  If anyone asks you, ‘Why are you doing this?’ tell him, ‘The Lord needs it and will send it back here shortly.‘ ”

4  They went and found a colt outside in the street, tied at a doorway. As they untied it, 5  some people standing there asked, “What are you doing, untying that colt?” 6  They answered as Jesus had told them to, and the people let them go.

7  When they brought the colt to Jesus and threw their cloaks over it, he sat on it. 8  Many people spread their cloaks on the road, while others spread branches they had cut in the fields. 9  Those who went ahead and those who followed shouted, “Hosanna!” “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!” 10  “Blessed is the coming kingdom of our father David!” “Hosanna in the highest!”

11  Jesus entered Jerusalem and went to the temple. He looked around at everything, but since it was already late, he went out to Bethany with the Twelve.

The Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem.

This was a great celebration: But who was it for? Was it for Jesus, whom they perceived to be the Messiah, the Son of David or was it for themselves, because they thought His coming signified freedom from Roman bondage and restoration of their National identity? I’m sure that in the crowd out of the thousands gathered that day, there would be some on both sides.

 How Did Jesus Get Here?

First; There’s The Command:

Mark 11:1-3 “Go into the Town and bring me the colt”

Commanded, but Not Knowing Why:

Have you ever been asked to do something, when you don’t know the reason why? Or even after reflection you think it’s a foolish thing to be asked to do? Sometimes in life we’re expected to be obedient without knowing the reasons why. I was used to that in the Royal Navy, we were not always told why we were being sent somewhere or being commanded to do something, but we knew and trusted our leaders and that it would be for a good reasons. That’s trusting a respected authority. Jesus had obviously won the Disciples honour and respect, for they didn’t question Him, they didn’t say, “Why Lord?” They just did as the Master commanded. “Go”.

This signifies Jesus Authority: Over People. He demonstrated that He also had authority over many spheres;

Jesus Authority:

  • Over Nature: Commanding and Calming the Storms
  • Over Elements: Changing water into wine, a few fish and a few loaves to feed thousands.
  • Over People: “Come follow me” People left everything to follow Jesus as their new Master in life.
  • Over Sickness and Diseases: Jesus healed wherever he went.
  • Over Life and Death: Jesus raised people from death to life and the grave could not hold Him.

However, does Jesus have Authority over you? Is He your LORD? He’ll never force you to accept His Lordship, but one day the Bible tells us, “Every knee will bow and every tongue will confess; Jesus Christ is LORD!” He may give you freedom to choose if He’s your Lord now, but we don’t know when He’s coming back. It must surely be better to submit to His Royal Authority before He returns and everyone is compelled to bow before Him. However, if you won’t trust Jesus because of His Authority, perhaps you will because of His Humility.

Jesus can obviously be trusted and we’ve got an obligation once we know that, to willingly submit to His Divine Authority. Being obedient to Him when He commands, even though we don’t know the BIG PICTURE.

 2) There’s the Obedience to Jesus Command. Authority.

Mark 11:4-6. They obediently went into the town, found the Donkey’s Colt as Jesus had said and untied it and brought it to Jesus. WOWzer! That’s awesome.

 Modern Equivalent: Imagine if Jesus were here in London today and He commanded you; “Go down West Norwood Road and you’ll find a Volkswagen parked outside B&Q, you’ll find the keys in the ignition, get into the car and bring it to me. If anyone asks why you are taking the car, tell them the Master needs it” (Notice that it wasn’t a Merceedes or BMW, but a Volkswagen: Volkswagen means People’s Car or a car for the people). “If anyone asks you!” My friends if we were to get into a car in London, we’d probably be immediately arrested and questioned by the Police. Try explaining that the Master needs it as a reason for taking someone’s car these days. LOL

However, Jesus followers were obedient, they did it and were not aware of the reasons why, but this also reveals another Aspect of Jesus Authority: He knows things, He knew they’d find the Colt and how it would be tied. He knew the people wouldn’t object.

 3) There’s the Humility of the LORD:

He came into Jerusalem on a Donkey. Not as a normal Triumphal Procession: In a Chariot or on a White Charger. Even today when the Queen Processes down the Mall it’s either in a Golden Carriage or a Stretched Limousine, not a Volkswagen. 🙂

 Jesus is the Model of Humility:

Matthew 20:26-28 “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.”

Jesus didn’t come to earth to be served, but to serve and give His life.

Matthew 11:29 “Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.”

Jesus is gentle and humble in heart.

Those who are truly following the Lord Jesus Christ will also be humble, gentle too. Look at the fruits of the Holy Spirit of God: Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Gentleness and Self-Control. WOWzer! He’s making you to be more like Jesus Christ when you follow Him.

4) The People’s Response:

Shouting, cheering and Waving Palm Branches. Crowds can be so fickle: Don’t always follow the crowd.

Some crowds, parades, parties etc are good, but you’ll know from recent history that some crowds can turn nasty; The Tottenham Riots in London and countless Demonstrations around the world these days. The crowds can turn nasty, violent and very dangerous.

The Crowd: Was filled with JOY, Praise, Adoration. Why? Because their New King was coming into their Capital City Jerusalem.

Zechariah 9:9 (NLT)
9  Rejoice, O people of Zion! Shout in triumph, O people of Jerusalem! Look, your king is coming to you. He is righteous and victorious, yet he is humble, riding on a donkey riding on a donkey’s colt.

How Fickle This Crowd Was:

Just a few days after Jesus Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem we find large crowds, stirred up by their leaders, shouting with just as much enthusiasm for Jesus to be Crucified. Remember the crowds motivated to stone Stephen, to beat Paul within an inch of his life and left for dead. The Crowds cannot always be trusted to get things right. Mob mentality takes over and everyone follows like a sheep.

 The Modern Crowds:

The Popular Religious Writers: Some calling themselves ‘Christian’ say things the world and foolish Christians long to hear, but they are far from the revealed will of God. They’ll advocate things the Lord has condemned and say that they are good for you.

The Christian who chooses to live in sin: They want others to endorse their wayward way of life, and the world loves to hear of hypocritical believers, the crowd’s pressure is intense these days.

The Non-Christian: They’ll say all kinds of strange things about Jesus, about the Bible and about God. The World loves it and the pressure to go along is needle like too, it penetrates to all levels of the modern church. The fact of God’s Creation is being constantly attacked. Compromise and acceptance of false beliefs, because the glamour of the crowd is deafening. Christians are shutting their mouths and the world is getting worse by the day. Christians don’t want to appear odd or out of kilter with society, so they’ll accommodate and acquiesce. Christians are afraid of being made to look foolish when scientists and psychologist try and explain away our revealed faith. However, true science is nothing to be afraid of, for it will in the end, find God’s Word to be trustworthy and true. Soon they’ll discover that there was indeed a Creator and He still holds Creation in balance.

 The Triumphal Entry: If you were in that Crowd when Jesus came into Jerusalem, would you be shouting Hosanna (praise the Lord) just because everyone else was shouting or would it be because Jesus really was your King?

A week later, if you were there when Jesus was brought out and you were asked who should be released, Barabbas or Jesus, would you go along with the crowd or would Jesus still be your King?

When the Crowd today says things about Jesus, God, the Bible and Christianity that are NOT true, will you stand up for Jesus or go along with the crowd or worse still, stay silent?

 A Tapestry: If you look at the reverse side of a tapestry, all you see is knots and bits of thread, but turn it over and WOWzer, you’ll see the bigger picture in all it’s splendour.

Just like the Disciples of Jesus who were not aware of why they were being commanded to go get a Donkey’s colt, we too are not always aware of why the Lord wants us to do certain things, be certain places or speak His word in season; turning the other cheek, blessing our enemies and forgiving those who do evil things to us, etc, but because we know Jesus and love and respect and honour Him, we’ll do what He says, because He’s got the bigger picture, He knows the end from the beginning, because He knows the BIG PICTURE, even though to us it all looks like a mess down here on earth, one day we’ll observe and be overyjoyed by the splendour of the KING.

After the Triumphal Entry, Trial, Crucifixion and Resurrection; Jesus is now the Ascended King of kings and LORD of Lords, He’s on the Throne in Heaven, He’s coming back again soon, will you be in that Crowd cheering Jesus return? Are you longing for the return of Jesus in all his glory? He’s coming soon my friends at an hour we don’t expect.

The LORD NEEDS IT:

Sometimes we give to the LORD begrudgingly, but this man let Jesus have his Donkey’s Colt, because the Disciples said, “The Master Needs It”… Oh WOW! Is there anything you can give to Jesus today? Oh yes there is my friends; Jesus wants you to use;

  • Your TIME:
  • Your TALENTS:
  • Your MONEY:
  • Your THINGS:

All of these things for the KING and for use in the KINGDOM of Jesus.

You don’t need to be like that FICKLE CROWD.

You can be; Trusting Jesus today, because He’s proven to be TRUSTWORTHY.

You can live in Obedience today, because He’s your King and Lord and knows the beginning and the end.

You can be Serving Jesus today, because you LOVE Him: with all your heart, mind, soul, will and strength.

You cannot do it in your own strength, you need Jesus and the Holy Spirit’s help. If you try, even with all your own strength and might you’ll fail, but if you SUBMIT to His Authority, recognising His Humility, you’ll flourish and grow as a Christian, because He’ll give you all you need to be triumphant and victorious in the Christian life.

Have an amazing Holy Week and come and join us on;

  • Maunday Thursday: as we celebrate the Lord’s Last Supper over a Passover Meal, then on;
  • Good Friday Walk of Witness: at 11.45am come and join with Christians from all over West Norwood and walk and witness for Jesus. Click Here for More Details of the Walk of Witness.
  • Resurrection Sunday at 10.30am as we Celebrate the Resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ.

I’m praying for you all today, that you’ll be able to resist the clamour of the crowds and continue steadfastly to follow the Lord Jesus as your King and Master, Saviour and Lord. Amen!

Don.

The Triumphal Entry.

 

Fix Your Eyes Upon Jesus

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Daily Spirit & Word, 450: Fix Your Eyes Upon Jesus.

Good morning my friends, as we progress towards Easter we’re probably thinking of lots of different things;

  • Easter Bank Holiday Weekend: Means time with family and friends and perhaps the first trip out of the city in months. 
  • Easter Eggs / Chocolate Bunnies: Children love Easter Time with the shops filling up from February tempting them with chocolate eggs filled with goodies. 
  • Easter Hot Cross Buns: these are little spiced buns that, when I was a child, were only sold on Good Friday, but now you can get them most of the year round.

Christian Focus:

For Christians, who love the Lord Jesus, these Secular Easter focuses can be either an annoyance or a distraction, but we could also embrace them and still focus upon the main object of our Devotion: Our Lord Jesus Christ.

Hebrews 12:2 “Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”

In St Luke’s Church: We begin our main Easter preparations with;

Palm Sunday: Jesus Triumphal entry into Jerusalem and the joy filled crowds.
The Last Supper: Lord’s Last Supper with the Disciples, where He celebrated Passover with them: We’ll be doing that on Maundy Thursday; We’ll have all the elements of the Passover: Lovely Roasted Lamb, roasted eggs, horseradish, parsley, Charoset (reminding us of the mud and toil of captivity in Egypt), salt (reminding us of the tears and crying out to the Lord in captivity), etc… We don’t follow or focus entirely upon Passover, but on what the Lord was doing at the Passover: With the Bread and Wine. (Come and join us if you’re free).
Good Friday: We don’t have a Good Friday Service, but a Walk of Witness with Christians in West Norwood, London. We gather at 11.45am and walk about 3/4 of a mile to St Luke’s Gardens (We’re blessed that our gardens are already a focus for the town of West Norwood in London and it’s a great witness that there are hundreds of Christians who love Jesus. We sings hymns, songs and praise the Lord, we read from the Bible as we walk, we stop and pray, we bless people along the way and give out Easter Sunday invitations to worship with us. Then we gather to have a warm drink and some lovely Hot Cross Buns.
Easter Sunday: We remember the Resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ from the Dead. His death upon the Cross was not the end and His resurrection shows us that Father God was satisfied that the price for sin had been paid in full with Jesus blood and death for everyone who will trust in Him.

How can we fix our eyes upon Jesus today?

I don’t advocate making a statue of Jesus for the Bible tells us not to make Idols nor to bow down to them or worship them. There’s always a danger in making images and statues of the Lord or Mary or any of the Saints, because people begin to focus upon them. We’re commanded by the Lord not to make statues in the Ten Commandments:

The Second Commandment: Exodus 20:4-6 “You shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments.

  • So how can we, who want to be obedient to the Lord and His Word ‘fix our eyes upon Jesus’?
    We can do it easily: 
  • We’ve got God’s Word: The Gospel accounts of Jesus trial, cricifixion, resurrection and appearances. 
  • We’ve got Worship: Psalms, Hymns and Spiritual Songs: Songs about Jesus, what He did for us upon the cross. 
  • We’ve got Christian Gatherings: Regular Fellowship Groups. Outreach Groups. Evangelism Groups. Gathering regularly with those who Love Jesus, it won’t be long before you turn to Him in prayer and praise.
  • We’ve got Worship Services: With Preaching and Teaching about Jesus. 
  • We’ve got Prayer Meetings: Monthly and daily prayer.
  • We’ve got Personal Prayer and Worship and Bible Study / Meditation.

Focusing upon Jesus is easy for the Saints when we put our heart, soul, mind and strength to it. But will we? Will you focus upon Jesus? Will you think about the Cross and all that He endured upon the Cross for you?

I want to encourage those who’ve done this in the past, probably many times, to renew their commitment to the Lord Jesus Christ. To really FIX your eyes upon Jesus: Think about it, those crowds in Jerusalem; Shouting one week; “Jesus is King” and the next “Crucify”… To dwell upon the LAST SUPPER, the GARDEN of TEARS, the TRIAL of Jesus, the MOCKING He endured, the CRUCIFIXION, the DEATH and the RESURRECTION.

How to Practically FOCUS on Jesus and the Cross: 

When I was a lone-Christian on a Submarine at sea, I used to take a simple wooden cross with me and wear it undeneath my uniform. At times people would see it and sometimes ask, “Ginge (that’s what they called me), why are you wearing a wooden cross?”… It became an amazing stepping stone into conversations about my Lord Jesus. Why a wooden cross? We were not allowed to wear metal crosses. Electricity and metal don’t go well together 🙂 LOL. So with a simple black thread and an two inch cross, I became a witness for Jesus. But it really did help me, because there were times when I was feeling weak, my thoughts would wander, I didn’t have fellowship with other Christians, sometimes just grabbing that cross and feeling it would lead me to pray and worship Jesus in the Engine room or even in the Reactor Compartment. When I fixed my mind on Jesus I’d feel strong again and ready to face the world with renewed conviction and love for those in darkness.

How do you fix your eyes upon Jesus?

Let us do it this year every single day; In prayer, reading God’s Word and gathering and communicating with the saints as much as we can; to encourage and strengthen others in their walk and witness for Him.

What does fixing your eyes upon Jesus do for you? He’ll KEEP you, He’ll nourish you, He’ll wash you clean, He’ll renew your faith and strength and sometimes you’ll experience His awesome miracles, but most of all you’ll have the PEACE of JOY of the Lord in your heart. You’ll know Him and He’ll know you.

Have an awesome day with Jesus.
Don.

Let us fix our eyes upon Jesus.

Hebrews 3:1-6 “Therefore, holy brothers, who share in the heavenly calling, fix your thoughts on Jesus, the apostle and high priest whom we confess. 2 He was faithful to the one who appointed him, just as Moses was faithful in all God’s house. 3 Jesus has been found worthy of greater honour than Moses, just as the builder of a house has greater honour than the house itself. 4 For every house is built by someone, but God is the builder of everything. 5 Moses was faithful as a servant in all God’s house, testifying to what would be said in the future. 6 But Christ is faithful as a son over God’s house. And we are his house, if we hold on to our courage and the hope of which we boast.”

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Behold The Lamb of God

Behold The Lamb of God.

John The Baptist's Powerful Testimony: The Water, the Lamb, the Dove and the Son of God.
John The Baptist’s Powerful Testimony: The Water, the Lamb, the Dove and the Son of God.

Daily Spirit & Word, 447: John’s Powerful Testimony.

Four Symbols

The Water, Lamb, Dove and the Son of God.

Good morning my friends, today we’re gathering on the first Sunday of March to worship the Lord with an truly amazing focus on Jesus, looking at Him through the Magnifying Glass of John the Baptist. Let’s jump right in and read God’s Word;
  • John 1:29-34
  • 29  The next day John saw Jesus coming towards him and said, “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!
  • 30  This is the one I meant when I said, ‘A man who comes after me has surpassed me because he was before me.’
  • 31  I myself did not know him, but the reason I came baptising with water was that he might be revealed to Israel.”
  • 32  Then John gave this testimony: “I saw the Spirit come down from heaven as a dove and remain on him.
  • 33  I would not have known him, except that the one who sent me to baptise with water told me, ‘The man on whom you see the Spirit come down and remain is he who will baptise with the Holy Spirit.’
  • 34  I have seen and I testify that this is the Son of God.”
As a Magnifying Glass makes things BIGGER: So John’s Witness about Jesus makes Him much BIGGER for each and every one of us today. Here’s HOW!
You know my friends, there is nothing more powerful to lead others to Jesus Christ than by our own witness or testimony of who Jesus Christ is: both to us and to the world. That’s what John the Baptist revealed in his own life and it’s what Christians can reveal to the world today.
We’ve observed the POWER of this fact in the face of debate and doubt: Whilst out on the streets witnessing, we’ll come accross many people who’ve got strong arguments and reasons for not believing in God or Jesus, but after trying to debate them on an intellectual level for a while, we’ve seen how just one or two words brings those strong defences, (These are the Castles they built to hide from God) intellectual and moral doubts come crashing down. When we say, “I know God because I’ve met God personally through Jesus” there’s absolutely nothing they can say. Apart from thinking, either we’re mad or deluded or we’re telling the truth. There is POWER in personal testimony, that’s what John the Baptist brings us today.
John gives us FOUR vary powerful symbols;

1) The Water:

John’s message was: “Repent and Be Baptised for the forgiveness of Sins.” (Baptism means to submerse, to sink to go under, to go down underneath and into the water).
Baptism was something people always did to themselves, but this was very strange, now a man came calling people to come to him to be washed in running water, to be cleansed of their sins. But first John said that people must REPENT.
The people at the time knew what John meant, but we’ve don’t have the same understanding of God’s Word, the Old Testament. He was calling the people to come back to God’s ways, God’s will revealed in the Law and the Commandments. Repenting is simply acknowledging we’ve failed and fallen short of them, turning away from sin and desiring God’s cleansing from Sin. (Sin is the Transgression of the Law of God).
Washing in Water was always a symbol of RITUAL CLEANSING. Baptism = Repentance and Forgiveness / Cleansing from Sin.

2) The Lamb of God: “Behold the Lamb of God”

John was saying, “Behold” which means LOOK PAY ATTENTION TO WHAT I’M POINTING OUT.
Who takes away the sin of the world.
In Israel: The Jews sacrificed pure, innocent and spotless lambs, this was God’s given symbol of purification. The blood of the lamb was to show that their sins had been washed away, but that sin has a price, “The wages of sin is death”… The Lamb died in the place of the people, because sin must be paid for.
Imagine that, an innocent, pure little lamb: The people would most surely have the same feelings for little lambs that we have today. They are cute, lovely, innocent, spotless and cuddly: But they needed to die to pay the price for their sins. seems cruel and barbaric to us today, but God was showing the people something about SIN. How much it hurt him and how serious sin was to him.
Now John was saying something awesome: Just like people would wash themselves to purify themselves, so Israelite People would bring their own lambs to be slaughtered. It was their identifying with their own sin. It’s like saying to God, “It was me, I did it, now I bring this little lamb to suffer in my place”… Now John is telling the people, God is Himself providing the Lamb for Sacrifice: Jesus would be God’s Lamb who would be sacrificed to take away the sins of the whole world. His precious blood would pay the price for the sins of everyone. He was God’s pure, spotless and sinless Lamb.

Why? The Bible tells us why: John 3:14-18
14 Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the desert, so the Son of Man must be lifted up,
15 that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life.
16 “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.
18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. 

3) The Dove:

For many thousands of years, since the time of Noah, the Dove has been well known as the international symbol of PEACE. Often depicted carrying a leaf in it’s mouth.
After the flood, that destroyed every sinful human being apart from Noah and his family, when the waters receeded Noah sent out some birds to find land, the dove finally returned to Noah carrying an Olive branch in it’s mouth. This meant the end of God’s wrath, the flood abated and PEACE with God was restored. He’d finished his work of cleansing / PURIFYING the earth from Sin. Water: Now the earth was appearing again and the Dove brought the symbol of God’s Peace.
My friends, when the Holy Spirit came down from Heaven and entered Jesus, He came in the form of a Dove. Notice what John said though, The Dove came down and rested on him and remained upon Him. The Holy Spirit NEVER left Jesus again.
John said about Jesus; “The man on whom you see the Spirit come down and remain is he who will baptise with the Holy Spirit.”
Jesus was and is the one who sends the Holy Spirit into the hearts of everyone who comes to Him in Repentance seeking the forgiveness of their sins. He died upon the Cross as God’s Lamb to take away those sins. He now gives the Holy Spirit to each and every person who TRUSTS in His death upon the cross, that it was for their sins. His precious, spotless, innocent and holy life-blood poured out on the cross for your sins.
Jest like the Holy Spirit remained upon Jesus, so the Holy Spirit will be with the New Believer forever. He’ll fill you and give you what John said here, “FIRE”… Fire = Zeal for God. Love for God, Devotion to God, Dedication to God’s ways. That’s the FIRE it means the ability to live in such a way, that your life will be pleasing to God.
The Holy Spirit really is a symbol of PEACE between mankind and God. That God was finished with the punishment Jesus had taken all the punishment necessary for SIN and now God was sending the Holy Spirit to reveal the True PEACE between the believer and God. The PEACE in your heart is a fruit of the Holy Spirit.

4) Testimony (Witness).

John the Baptist said, “I have seen and I testify that this is the Son of God.”
WOWzer! What a powerful witness. “I’ve seen” and “I testify”…
My friends, John saw the DOVE (He’d been given a message and a method of getting people ready for Jesus coming: Repent = turn back to God away from sin. AND be baptised to be PURIFIED from those sins) NOW after years of getting people ready, he finally saw what God had told him from Heaven. “When you see the Spirit come down and remain upon him, he is the one who will baptise with the Holy Spirit and fire”…. I’ve seen Him, this is the one, this is the Lamb of God, Jesus Christ is the SON of God.
And as I said at the beginning, there is nothing more powerful than personal testimony, personal witness, personal knowledge: “I’ve seen Jesus, I know Jesus, I’ve been with Jesus” What has Jesus done for you?

A Christian’s Personal Testimony:

Witness about Jesus: What He’s done for you:
He’s forgiven my sins (How did that make you feel).
He died for me (How does it make you feel how Jesus died for your sins).
He came into my life: Now tell people what your life is now like with Jesus, in comparison to what life what like without Jesus.
He filled me with His Holy Spirit: Now tell people what it’s like being full of the Holy Spirit. How you know the PEACE of God.
Tell people: “Behold Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God who takes away the SIN of the World.”
With this POWERFUL testimony, what Jesus came to do, what Jesus has done for you, you can go out and be confident that God will use it to bring others to the same faith and confidence that you have in Jesus Christ. Knowing Jesus Christ personally is all the training you need to become a powerful EVANGELIST to lead others to Him.

Today we’ve seen FOUR Powerful Symbols:

These Make for a VERY POWERFUL TESTIMONY.
  • The Water:
  • The Lamb:
  • The Dove:
  • The Son of God:
What’s the Water For? Repentance and Forgiveness (Cleansing & Pruification).
What’s the Lamb for? Paying the Price in Blood for Sins.
What’s the Dove for? Assurance of PEACE within each and every Repentant Sinner who receives Jesus as Lord.
What’s the Son of God for? He’s the Lamb, He’s the giver of the Holy Spirit, He’s the one who paid the price for sin.
Remember:

John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”

 Why do we need a Personal Testimony like John’s? Because God has revealed just how precious each soul is, that He doesn’t want anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. So He’s given you a task of spreading this Good News of Jesus to everyone and He’s given you a personal encounter and filled you with His Spirit to accomplish the task. If you’ve not got this FIRE (Zeal) to share Jesus with others, then there’s something wrong with your faith. God’s LOVE compels us to share with others what He’s given to us: So share Jesus today.
Have an awesome Sunday my friends.
If you’ve never done so before, can I encourage you today to come to Jesus Christ; Repent and seek His forgiveness, know that He’s paid the price for all your sins upon the cross and turn to Him now. He’ll give you the gift of the Holy Spirit as a way that you can know that you’ve been forgiven, your place in Heaven is secure and you are living a PEACE with God forever. Come NOW is the Day to be SAVED from Sin. Come today is the day of Salvation from sin.
Don.

Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.