The LORD is my Shepherd

no fear in death when Jesus is the Good Shepherd

Daily Spirit & Word: 765: The LORD is My Shepherd.

The Lord is MY Shepherd:

Good morning my friends, it was such a wonderful privilege to conduct the funeral of one of the oldest saints in St Luke’s Church, June Bailleau. She died in full assurance that Jesus Christ was her Good Shepherd. So we could celebrate her life and be comforted with the assurance she’s gone home to be with her LORD forever. There were awesome testimonies about June, the kind of woman she was, her dedication to the Lord, her love and service in church and community, but most importantly how she longed for everyone she knew to come to the point of knowing Jesus for themselves. She wanted me to proclaim the Good News of Jesus at her funeral. So I did, here’s the message that I gave.

A few days before she died, June couldn’t speak clearly, but she mouthed the words of this Psalm perfectly from memory as I read it out to her.

SCRIPTURE READING: Psalm 23

The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: He leadeth me beside the still waters, He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for Thou art with me; Thy rod and Thy staff they comfort me. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies; Thou anointest my head with oil; My cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.

I just love the way that King David has used the imagery of a Shepherd and his flock to describe the CARE and COMFORT which every one of God’s sheep can experience. However, it’s not just a group of sheep, but an individual sheep, my friends, Jesus wants to take the greatest care of your life too.

He begins by describing the comfort and care of His Lord for him in life.

He sums up all of God’s care in one phrase, “I shall not want.”

“I shall not want”

King David LACKS NOTHING, because his Shepherd cares for all of his earthly needs.

Let’s Look at the ways the Shepherd Looks After His Sheep in this LIFE:

  • He Leads me besides still waters: Jesus said, “NEVER THIRST AGAIN” & “Calmed the Storms” & “Walked on Water”…
  • He makes me lie down in green pastures: “NEVER HUNGER”

John 6:35 (NLT) “Jesus replied, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry again. Whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.”

These two phrases tell me Jesus is concerned about my earthly existence as well as what follows next, my SPIRITUAL life.

  • He leads me in paths of righteousness: “I AM The Way, The Truth and The LIFE: No man comes to the Father except through Me” John 14:6.

How does the Good Shepherd lead us? With His ROD (Rod of correction: A small rod that shepherds would use to prod the sheep and keep them on the right path) With HIS STAFF (The STAFF is a bigger stick that shepherds would use to rescue the sheep when they got into difficulty).

My friends, Jesus is caring so much for those who become His sheep today. He disciplines, prunes (Luke 15, John 15) He guides (John 16-17 by His Holy Spirit).

LOOK AT THE WAY THE GOOD SHEPHERD LOOKS AFTER HIS SHEEP IN DEATH:

Jesus, the Good Shepherd, is not just concerned with our life down here on the earth: When we’re going through the doorway of death, He’s right there with His sheep too.

DEATH: King David’s Shepherd doesn’t ABANDON Him through death, so he goes on to describe the Lord’s presence in death.

“Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for Thou art with me.”

Passing through death, David says, is like walking through dark shadows. That would normally be very frightening indeed. I’ve been called out to people who are just about to die and they are petrified, scared to death of dying. They call on a minister out of FEAR: I always come to them and proclaim the Gospel: When faced with DEATH people always REPENT of their sins.

Going through DEATH for everyone of us  is not pleasant experience, that’s why nobody wants to die.

However, if we are one of God’s Sheep, when we do pass through the dark shadow of death, there is NO FEAR…

Here we are COMFORTED with this TRUTH: That our LORD JESUS Christ, The Good Shepherd, who provided for all our earthly needs in life, is also with us as we pass through the dark doorway into ETERNITY.

For those who are passing through DEATH with Christ, there is NOTHING to FEAR: Why? Because Jesus is right there with us.

“Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for Thou art with me.”

 

HOW DO WE GET JESUS TO BE OUR GOOD SHEPHERD?

WHILE THIS PSALM ASSURES US THAT GOD IS WITH US AS WE PASS THROUGH THE SHADOW OF DEATH, IT DOES NOT TELL US HOW THIS HAPPENS.

King David was specially chosen by God, he was unique and had amazing experiences of God in life and knew and trusted God. But it wasn’t until Jesus came to this world, that ordinary people could also have that same kind of assurance.

One thing I am assured about June Bailleau is this, She KNEW JESUS as her Good Shepherd. She’d repented of her sins and trusted Jesus as her Lord. She loved the LORD, and would be singing His praises until her last breath, which I can testify that she did.

Well, Jesus described Himself as the Good Shepherd:

He said,

John 10:10-11 (NIV)
10  The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.
11  “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.

Notice The LINK: The Good Shepherd: The LORD is MY Shepherd.

Jesus died on the CROSS for the Sheep. “The Good Shepherd lays down His life for the sheep”…

John 10:14-15 (NIV)
14  “I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me, (June KNEW Jesus)
15  just as the Father knows me and I know the Father, and I lay down my life for the sheep. (June was assured Jesus had given His life for her).

Jesus is the Good Shepherd: He lays down His LIFE for the Sheep.

But why? Why did Jesus need to give His life for the Sheep? 

It’s because without Jesus DEATH on the CROSS: We would all still be in our sins, we would be frightened on our way through the DARK SHADOWS of DEATH. We most certainly would be frightened.

ALL HAVE SINNED: God’s WORD, The Bible, tells us clearly, “ALL HAVE SINNED”… 

YBH: Yes! But how?

We’ve all broken God’s Commandments: Lied, Stolen, Cheated, Disobeyed Parents, Murdered (Hated), Not kept the Sabbath, Not put God first in our lives.

God’s Commandments reveal just how much we’ve all sinned. NO SINNER can enter into the Kingdom of Heaven: If we were able to creep into Heaven with our sins still on us, we’d contaminate Heaven.

We THINK We’re Good Enough: Most people think they are ‘good enough’.

I’m reminded of a time when as a young Electrical Mechanic recruit waiting to be drafted to my first ship, having finished my courses, I was put to work on the Royal Navy Pig Farm: About 40000 pigs to look after: It’s a very smelly affair. You’d only need to be with those pigs for a few minutes and you’d begin to smell like them. After working with the pigs I’d take a shower, spray myself with deodorant and put on clean clothes. Then going to the Dining Hall with all the other Sailors, we’d line up to get in. There was a Petty Officer at the Door: He was controlling the entrance, letting in a few at a time, there were hundreds of us. I noticed there was something strange happening in the queue, there was a gap in front of me and a gap behind, I didn’t take any notice, but when I eventually got to the front of the queue, the Petty Officer said, “Go and get a shower, you stink, you can’t come into the Dining Hall smelling like that”… I was so embarrassed, I’d had a shower, sprayed myself with deodorant and thought I smelled clean, but the stench of the PIGS was still on my body.

My friends, I thought I was clean enough, I thought I could get in, I’d cleaned myself up: Oh My friends, there are so many people who’re hoping that they’ll be GOOD ENOUGH to get into Heaven when they pass through the dark shadow of death. They’ll be sadly shocked, because, JUST ONE SIN in your life: Will contaminate your SOUL and you’ll be unfit for Heaven for all eternity.

It’s my experience from going out to share the Gospel with folks on the streets every week, people who don’t go to church, people who are not religious, that they do believe in Heaven and they think they are going to be good enough to get in. My friends, we’re encouraged by God’s Word not to fool ourselves: No SINNER can get into HEAVEN.

Listen to what God’s Word tells us: DON’T FOOL YOURSELVES…

1 Corinthians 6:9-11 (NLT)
9  Don’t you realize that those who do wrong will not inherit the Kingdom of God? Don’t fool yourselves. Those who indulge in sexual sin, or who worship idols, or commit adultery, or are male prostitutes, or practice homosexuality, 10  or are thieves, or greedy people, or drunkards, or are abusive, or cheat people—none of these will inherit the Kingdom of God.
11  Some of you were once like that. But you were cleansed; you were made holy; you were made right with God (HOW?) by calling on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.

Don’t FOOL YOURSELVES: We may think we’re ‘good enough’ but the Bible, God’s Word, reveals that JUST ONE SIN will keep us out of Heaven.

Like Adam and Eve, who were banished from God’s presence for ONE SIN, so we too will be sadly shocked and embarrassed to discover, we can’t get in.

Thankfully that same passage that tells us not to FOOL OURSELVES, and lists those who can’t get in, it also reveals who can.

It’s those who’ve made Jesus their Good Shepherd.

1 Corinthians 6:11 ” Some of you were once like that. But you were cleansed; you were made holy; you were made right with God (HOW?) by calling on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.”

 

  • When you TURN: In Repentance (Turn away from Sin) Confess your sins to Jesus.
  • When you TRUST: In Christ’s DEATH Upon the Cross, paying the price for your sins. (The Good Shepherd can become your Shepherd today).
  • When you RECEIVE Jesus Christ: By and act of Faith you say “Jesus, I believe you died upon the Cross for my sins, I repent of those sins (Name them, renounce them, and leave my life of sin) I turn to You Lord and I receive You as my LORD, My Shepherd, Come into my Life and be my Lord today. Amen!”

When you Turn, Trust and Receive Jesus Christ: You will be saved, your sins will be washed away, you’ll be made holy by Jesus Christ’s death and precious blood, you’ll be made right with God and you’ll be free to enter into Heaven. When you die you will not FEAR. When you pass through the Dark Shadows of Death, because Jesus become your Good Shepherd, He will be your Shepherd and He will be with you too.

ALL FEAR IS GONE:

When Jesus Christ is YOUR Good Shepherd.

 

JUNE KNEW Psalm 23 by HEART: June KNEW Jesus as her Good Shepherd: The LORD of her life.

You can cry out with confidence as June Bailleau has done countless times in her life, she knew it by heart, just a few days before she died, she mouthed the words;

“Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.”

You’ll have such a confidence that Jesus is your Good Shepherd, that you’ll KNOW you are just going to go through THE DARK SHADOW of DEATH, you won’t be afraid, because Jesus will be with you, and then once you’ve passed through, you’ll be with Him FOREVER.

You will receive the Gift of Eternal Life:

Death has lost it’s sting, when Jesus is your Good Shepherd.

John 3:13-18 (NIV)
13  No-one has ever gone into heaven except the one who came from heaven, the Son of Man.
14  Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the desert, so the Son of Man must be lifted up (Jesus died on the Cross),
15  that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life. (Those who TRUST that His Death was for their sins).
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.

It’s NOT ENOUGH to KNOW that Jesus died for your sins: We can all believe that easily enough, but we must TRUST IN Jesus Christ. i.e. Trust that He will forgive you, cleanse you and give you new life, by an act of faith.

It’s like a man called Charles Blondin: A World Famous Tight Rope Walker.

He would walk across the Niagara Falls with a wheelbarrow. Back and forth (17 Times: Even Blindfolded). Then He asked the Crowd, “Do you believe that I could push a person in a wheelbarrow across the falls?” The Crowd responded “Yes”.

Charles Blondin asked, “Who’s going to get into the wheelbarrow?”

The Crowd was silent… He famously pushed his own mother across the falls in that wheelbarrow. She trusted in her own Son, enough to get into that wheelbarrow.

My friends, we’ve got to GET Jesus into Us if we are going to be SAVED: Will you TRUST the Son of God? Will you Receive Jesus Christ as your LORD today? He’ll take you across the Dark Shadow of Death all the way to Eternity with Him in Heaven Forever.. Trust Him.

Have you made Jesus your Good Shepherd yet?

Believe, Repent, Receive, LIVE….

Turn, Trust, Receive Him Today: And you will have HIM with you through life and through that doorway of death too. Amen!

I hope you all have a fantastic Friday and wonderful weekend.

Looking forward to gathering on Sunday with the Saints in St Luke’s Church,

Don.

 

You were made to last forever, eternity.

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

Daily Spirit & Word. 715: Immortality. Eternity.

God Made YOU to Last Forever.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dictionary Meaning of “Immortality”:

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

Synonyms: Afterlife, Hereafter, Permanence, Permanency,

Antonyms: Mortality (Mortal).

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

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

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

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

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

God sees our inmost thoughts: (Psalm 139)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Have a wonderful day with the Lord Jesus,

Don.

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

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

ETERNITY

Keep Going In The Spirit

Sowing and Reaping, God cannot be mocked

Daily Spirit & Word: 697:

Keep Going In The Spirit

Sowing and Reaping.

Galatians 6:7-10 (NIV)
7  Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows.
8  The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life.
9  Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.
10  Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.
 Good morning my friends, well what a stormy day yesterday was, I wasn’t looking forward to going out onto the streets sharing the Good News, it was cold and dark and wintry weather. However, we had a good team gathered to go, six of us from St Luke’s, so we split-up into twos; David and Sherrie, Ben and Gemma and Judy and me; after watching the newest video from “A New Reformation”, we were all fired-up to see the Lord at work in people’s lives. You know something, when you go in faith, you will not be disappointed my friends, we had some truly amazing encounters in sharing the Gospel and chatting with people about God’s Kingdom.
When we got back to the Parish Office afterwards and we all shared what happened, we saw that the Lord was with us. I love hearing from others how the Lord has used them and what He does is fantastically good. Even after years of sharing the Gospel I’m always encouraged and refreshed by how faithful Jesus Christ is to His Word.
When we look at those verses above from Galatians, you can be sure that God is serious; “Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man (or woman) reaps what he sows”… Galatians 6:7. Now that’s a sobering verse from God’s Word.
Jesus gave us similar teaching in so many different ways: Sowing and Reaping.
In the Old Testament we see this principle illustrated in the lives of ancient forefathers and peoples.

 Jacob: Genesis 27-31.

Did you know that Jacob was a trickster: He pulled a fast-one on his older brother and father. He covered himself in animal hair to look, smell and feel like his older brother. He did so because his father Isaac was getting old and blind and Jacob wanted the blessing due to his older brother. You know the story, but he eventually succeeded and ran away to avoid a clash with his angry brother. REAPING WHAT YOU SOW: Jacob really did get blessed by God, but he also REAPED. He fell in love with Rachel and wanted to marry her. Rachel’s dad made Jacob work for seven years before he would be able to marry her. After those seven long years, he was looking forward to his wedding night. After all the ceremony was over, he removed the veil and lo and behold, he’d not married Rachel, but Leah her older sister. (You can read all about Jacob in Genesis 27-31, you’ll see what a trickster he was and how he REAPED WHAT HE HAD SOWN).
Isn’t that amazing? You reap what you sow. He tricked his father and brother, now his father-in-law had tricked him. He was the younger brother and he tricked his older brother. He wanted the younger sister Rachel, but was tricked into marrying the older sister Leah. You reap what you sow.
  • When you plant tomatoes (as I’m about to do in the next few days), you’ll reap little tomatoes.
  • When you plant potatoes, you’ll not get grapes at the harvest time, but little potatoes.
  • You reap what you sow.
Think Seriously About Mocking God: If we’re sowing to our FLESH then watch out.
Leviticus 26:14-20 (NIV)
14  ” ‘But if you will not listen to me and carry out all these commands,
15  and if you reject my decrees and abhor my laws and fail to carry out all my commands and so violate my covenant,
16  then I will do this to you: I will bring upon you sudden terror, wasting diseases and fever that will destroy your sight and drain away your life. You will plant seed in vain, because your enemies will eat it.
17  I will set my face against you so that you will be defeated by your enemies; those who hate you will rule over you, and you will flee even when no-one is pursuing you.
18  ” ‘If after all this you will not listen to me, I will punish you for your sins seven times over.
19  I will break down your stubborn pride and make the sky above you like iron and the ground beneath you like bronze.
20  Your strength will be spent in vain, because your soil will not yield its crops, nor will the trees of the land yield their fruit.

Time Doesn’t Matter:

Did you know that they’ve found wheat seeds in the ancient Egyptian Tombs, they planted those 3000 year old seeds, guess what they got at harvest time? Wheat! Those seeds did not forget what they were after all those years in the tomb. My friends, God keeps a perfect record, and at the judgement throne of Jesus Christ, every believer will REAP WHAT THEY HAVE SOWN. God cannot be mocked.
Galatians 6:8  “The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life.”
 If we’ve sown to our flesh, then from that flesh we shall reap corruption (diseases and eventually premature death).
If we’ve sown to the Holy Spirit, then we shall reap everlasting life.
A man or woman REAPS WHAT THEY HAVE SOWN.
God cannot be mocked. So many believers are convinced that God will just ‘wink’ at their sins because they’ve repented and put their trust in Jesus Christ. They’ll say, “Jesus died upon the Cross for my sins, past, present and future, so I’m forgiven”… That’s right my friends, you have been forgiven, you are blessed with the gift of eternal life, but God wants to reward us for the good things we’ve done whilst in the body: but His rewards also include REAPING what we have SOWN. If we sow to the fleshly sinful nature, then God will reward us in kind. God cannot be mocked: He will not just wink at your sinful choices on the day when you come face to face with Jesus Christ. Remember God’s chosen, blessed and elected people of old: Jacob, Joseph, King David and Solomon… They were all God’s Chosen and Anointed: but they ALL, every single one of them, REAPED what they had sown to their SINFUL natures. God cannot be mocked.
If ever there was a sobering verse in the Bible it’s this one for every truly born again believer: “God cannot be mocked”… We can’t pull-the-wool over God’s eyes. We can’t trick Him. We can’t hide it from Him. He sees and Knows EVERYTHING we do.
Don’t forget those amazing words of encouragement too: Galatians 6:9 “9  Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. “
In Britain, we are one of the most watched nations on earth today: CCTV Cameras can see our every move. We walk up the street and little cameras are watching us. We go on a train or tube, or bus, there are little cameras filming us. CCTV is everywhere.
God wants us to KNOW that we are being observed from Heaven too.
Hebrews 12:1-6 (NIV)
1  Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.
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.
3  Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.
4  In your struggle against sin, you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood.
5  And you have forgotten that word of encouragement that addresses you as sons: “My son, do not make light of the Lord’s discipline, and do not lose heart when he rebukes you, 6  because the Lord disciplines those he loves, and he punishes everyone he accepts as a son.”
We’re reminded that we are being watched from Heaven: God disciplines us now, He doesn’t want us to loose our rewards in Heaven, but wants to bless us with so many great and wonderful things, but God cannot be mocked. You will REAP what you have SOWN.
I love the Message Paraphrase of these verses from Galatians:
Galatians 6:7-10 (MSG)
7  Don’t be misled: No one makes a fool of God. What a person plants, he will harvest. The person who plants selfishness, ignoring the needs of others—ignoring God!— 8  harvests a crop of weeds. All he’ll have to show for his life is weeds! But the one who plants in response to God, letting God’s Spirit do the growth work in him, harvests a crop of real life, eternal life.
9  So let’s not allow ourselves to get fatigued doing good. At the right time we will harvest a good crop if we don’t give up, or quit. 10  Right now, therefore, every time we get the chance, let us work for the benefit of all, starting with the people closest to us in the community of faith.

Response:

  • Repent and turn again to Jesus.
  • Confess your sins to Him now.
  • Seek the fullness of the Holy Spirit now.
  • God cannot be mocked, you will reap what you have sown.
  • Do it immediately.

Last night we met a young man who played in the worship team in his uncle’s church for years. He knew all about being “Born Again” but was waiting until the time was ‘right’ to get right with Jesus. Imagine that, in the WORSHIP TEAM for years, knowing the Gospel and just waiting until the time is right. He was too young to need Jesus, he thought. He was waiting. My friends, imagine what would have happened if that young man had waited and got knocked over by a bus, where would he be spending his Eternity? We need Jesus NOW. We can’t play at being ‘Church’. God cannot be mocked.

 Then, If we sow to the spirit, then from the spirit we shall reap a wonderful harvest in God’s Kingdom. So don’t get weary in doing good my friends, especially to those who are from the household of faith, brothers and sisters in Jesus’ Kingdom Family.
Prayer: Oh Lord Jesus Christ, when I think of the times that I’ve chosen to feed my sinful nature, it fills me with great sadness. When I’ve chosen the flesh over the Spirit, I know that Heaven has been watching, the “Great Cloud of Witnesses” However, I know that when I turn to You in faith and true repentance, I’m forgiven, cleansed and renewed in Spirit. I know that You discipline those who come to You Lord. Help me today in my walk with You, I want to be full of Your Holy Spirit so that I can live the abundant holy life that You have called me for. I want to live in obedience to Your teachings Lord Jesus. Amen!!
 It was so good going out last night to share the Gospel with folks on the streets, the LORD was with us then, He’s with us NOW. If you are a believer in Jesus, there’s not a moment in time that He’s not with you. You have been set-apart and sealed with God the Holy Spirit. LIVE like the Prince or Princess that you are. You are an Ambassador for Jesus in this world, let them see Jesus in you.
Don.
P.S. Please pray for the people we chatted with last night. We had brilliant conversations and shared the Gospel with: Ebeneezer, Craig, Ada and and Italian man called Carlos.  Pray also for all those that the other members of the team chatted with and the many who received Gospel tracts but were just too busy or in a rush to get home last night.

Sowing to the Spirit or the Flesh:

Paul puts it like this: For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption (6:8a). Every time we nurse a grudge, spread gossip, linger in bad company whose influence we cannot long resist, every time we watch or read pornographic materials, we are sowing seeds that will reap corruption in our fellowship with God, our families, and our witness.

But he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting (6:8b). What does it mean to sow to the Spirit? It means we allow the Spirit to do things that produce the fruit of the Spirit in our lives (5:22-23a).

When we sow to the Spirit, we also will reap life everlasting. The word everlasting refers not only to the duration of life but also the quality of life. Therefore, we can experience heaven here and now. How does Jesus express this fact in John 10:10b?
Journey Series – Book Studies – Journey Series – Book Studies.

Will I live Chaplain?

Death is NOT the end

Daily Spirit & Word: 640: Will I Live Chaplain?

Good morning my friends, we had a wonderful time of fellowship at Discipleship last night. First we prayed for some of our group, then we began to study and chat about FAITH and how our faith in Jesus Christ can grow stronger.

John 11:23-27: Do You Believe IN Life After Death?
23  Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.”
24  Martha answered, “I know he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day.”
25  Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies;
26  and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?”
27  “Yes, Lord,” she told him, “I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, who was to come into the world.”

The Challenge Last Night Was: “Do you really want stronger faith?”

Most Christians imagine that faith is like a single thing, it’s either BIG FAITH or SMALL FAITH, but I believe that God is not offering us faith as a simple single thing. It’s like our Heavenly Father is holding out to us a huge pile of different sized FAITH and He’s saying to you and me “Go on take hold of as much as you want”… You can have faith to conquer fear, faith to decide what path you want to take in life, faith to know God’s will for your Kingdom service. Faith to do something great for God. Faith to move those mountains in your life. How much faith do you want? What kind of faith do you need?

What do you NEED faith for in your life right now? Grab hold of it, because Father is offering it to you.

GREAT FAITH:

However in the end, what will it count for? What’s the point of having GREAT FAITH?

Well, I read this morning about a young soldier who’d been mortally wounded in battle.

“A chaplain on the battlefield cradled in his hands the head of a dying young soldier. That man had taken a wound—a shot—and he was mortally wounded. His blood was ebbing out of his body. The chaplain knew he had just a few minutes to live. The man did not know how badly he had been hit. The man looked into the face of the chaplain, and he asked this question: “Chaplain, will I live?” The chaplain, hardly knowing how to answer the question, answered this way: He said, “Son, are you a Christian?” And, the boy said, “Yes, Chaplain, I am. One of the happiest days of my life was when I walked down the aisle of my church as a 13-year-old boy and gave my hand to my pastor and my heart to Jesus Christ.” When the chaplain heard that, he laid down that head upon the sand and said, “Yes, my son, you will live. You will, for Jesus said: ‘Whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die.'” (John 11:26) Amen.

We will all go through many challenges in this life, but when it comes down to it, you will one day be faced with the fact that you are going to take a leap into eternity. My friends, there is coming a time, when all that’s going to matter is, “Do you have faith in Jesus Christ? Do you KNOW Jesus and does Jesus KNOW you?” That’s it! Pure and Simple.

All the rest of the events in your life will be a TEST and your REWARDS await you. Do not keep looking for those rewards in this life where they’ll be used up, but save them up in the BANK of ETERNITY, where they will last forever.

For it was our dear Lord Jesus who said, “Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also”… What do you treasure most?

  • If it’s something in this world, then we need to know this teaching of Jesus afresh today, “It will NOT last for very long”.
  • If it’s something in the Spirit, something in Jesus, something for God, “It will LAST for all eternity”.

How you use your faith now, will determine your greatness in Heaven.

WOUNDED? GRAB HOLD:

Have you been wounded in the battle? Are you going through the mud and the mire today?

I would encourage you to grab hold of the biggest pile of faith Father God is offering you today and with His help, use it for His glory.

I hope to look out my window this morning and see many mountains flying on their way to the sea.

Use the FAITH that the LORD has entrusted you with.

Blessings in Jesus,

Don.

P.S. We’re going out again tonight to share the Good News of Jesus in the Streets of West Norwood.

We’re going with the intent of bringing those who don’t know Jesus to faith and trust in Him.

Please pray for our witness. Pray that many will be saved. Pray for more people to join us out in the Harvest Field.

Thanks my friends,

Don.

P.P.S. Did you see that this advert was banned in Cinemas across the UK?

Keep praying the LORD’S PRAYER: Amen!

Who Wants To Live Forever?

Divine Seed, Gospel Good News, Gives Life,

Daily Spirit & Word: 593: You Were Born Again To LIVE Forever.

Everybody NEEDS to be Born Again IF they are going to LIVE.

Good morning my friends, do you remember the Freddie Mercury (Queen) song “Who wants to live forever?”? Do you know or are you aware, that there are so many Christians who think that they are ‘Born Again’ only so long as they perform well, are obedient and good? However the Bible, which is the WORD of God, declares that when you are Born Again it is not just for a little while, but FOREVER.

1 Peter 1:23-25 (AMP)

23  You have been regenerated (born again), not from a mortal origin (seed, sperm), but from one that is immortal by the ever living and lasting (ETERNAL) Word of God.

24  For all flesh (mankind, humankind) is like grass, and all its glory (honor) like [the] flower of grass. The grass withers and the flower (fall) drops off,

25  But the Word of the Lord (divine instruction, the Gospel, Good News) endures forever. And this Word is the good news (Gospel) which was preached to you. 

HOW THE NEW LIFE BEGAN:

When you: REPENTED (for without repentance you cannot be saved), Believed that Jesus died upon the Cross for your sins and Received Jesus as your Lord and Saviour, then you were BORN AGAIN of God’s Holy Spirit. The seed that impregnated is the Gospel (Good News) about Jesus.

Just as a man impregnates a woman’s egg with his sperm and life begins in the egg. (Life begins at conception).

So the WORD of God is Planted in you and Impregnated with the SEED (The Gospel of Jesus Christ). New LIFE (Born Again, Regeneration) begins from that moment on. Praise the LORD.

However, as our text in 1 Peter 1:23-25 declares: This is God’s WORD: The WORD that regenerated you is not the SAME as human sperm. Human sperm is temporal, it will die and so will the egg that it impregnates.

Just like when you go shopping at Tesco, Asda, Iceland or the Co-Op: The things you buy have a sell-by-date stamped upon them, that’s because like human beings, they will deteriorate, they will eventually go-off, go rotten and will need to be thrown out. The sad fact is that EVERY (100%) of human beings will eventually fade away and die. Ten out of Ten DIE.

Just as Peter illustrates from God’s Word in Isaiah 40:6-9 “The flowers fade and fall, the grass withers and dies”

However, the Good News is this: When you come to Christ you are Born Again of an IMPERISHABLE (Eternal, Living, Abiding) seed. You are going to LIVE from that moment on forever. It is the GOSPEL (GOOD NEWS) that was proclaimed, preached, evangelised, shared with you that brought about this NEW LIFE when you received it with faith.

Can you see the NEED to be born again?

If a human being is NOT born again of God’s Word by coming to faith and trust in Jesus Christ, He or She will one day die, and that DEATH is eternal. They will be thrown into God’s ETERNAL PRISON CALLED HELL. Because they have not been born again, i.e. they’ve not Repented, Believed in Jesus death upon the Cross for their sins, and Received Jesus Christ as their Saviour and Lord. They will die with their sins upon their own heads instead of upon Christ’s Cross.

Believe me, this is not just Donald writing this, it was Jesus Christ who said, “You must be born again”.

{Please NOTE: It would be most beneficial if you read ALL of the text of John 3:1-21, because it’s all related to the SAME subject of Being Born Again and the NEED to be born again if you want to Enter into God’s Kingdom, Heaven).

John 3:1-21 (ANIV) Now there was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a member of the Jewish ruling council.

2  He came to Jesus at night and said, “Rabbi, we know you are a teacher who has come from God. For no-one could perform the miraculous signs you are doing if God were not with him.”
3  In reply Jesus declared, “I tell you the truth, no-one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again.”
4  “How can a man be born when he is old?” Nicodemus asked. “Surely he cannot enter a second time into his mother’s womb to be born!”
5  Jesus answered, “I tell you the truth, no-one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit.
6  Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit.
7  You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You must be born again.’
8  The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.”
9  “How can this be?” Nicodemus asked.
10  “You are Israel’s teacher,” said Jesus, “and do you not understand these things?
11  I tell you the truth, we speak of what we know, and we testify to what we have seen, but still you people do not accept our testimony.
12  I have spoken to you of earthly things and you do not believe; how then will you believe if I speak of heavenly things?
13  No-one has ever gone into heaven except the one who came from heaven—the Son of Man.
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.
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.
21  But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what he has done has been done through God.”

God Wants Everyone To Be SAVED (Born Again).

No ONE (none) need die this eternal death.

God has given us the GOOD NEWS to impregnate every soul on earth.

However, it take something on our part to receive this NEW LIFE: The Bible calls that SAVING FAITH: Do you know how to get or give faith away? FAITH comes by hearing the eternal Word of God. (Romans 10) Awesome!

Question 1: Is there ANYONE you know who’s NOT Born Again? They need to be to be saved. It doesn’t matter how ‘good’ a person thinks they are, unless they’ve been born again they CANNOT enter into the Kingdom of God.

Question 2: Will you do what you can to bring your loved ones into God’s Kingdom? What can you do? Proclaim, preach, declare the Good News (Gospel) of Jesus Christ: That Jesus died upon a Cross, giving His life so that they could be saved from God’s wrath and anger against their sins and His just judgement and hell. (Everyone has broken God’s Commandments).

Question 3: Is anything else more important than a person’s eternal welfare?

Jesus asked that question like this:  Matthew 16:26 (NIV) What good will it be for a man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul? Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul?”

Remember: God so LOVED the world (every single human soul that He created) that He gave His One and ONLY Son to die upon the Cross for their sins. (John 3:16). He did it so EVERYONE could be saved.

Prayer: Oh Heavenly Father, thank you for showing me afresh today through 1 Peter 1:23-25 that we’re born again of a seed that is imperishable and that I’m going to last forever. However, I realise that not everyone I know an love is ‘born again’ or even wants to be, please Lord, help me to be faithful, to know that a person can only be ‘born again’ and saved by hearing the Good News Gospel of Jesus Christ, Your One and Only Son and to proclaim that message with boldness, urgency and gentleness with respect and power. I know that life is in the Word proclaimed. It’s Your Divine Seed that will bring life. I’m praying to you Father in the Name of Jesus Christ. Amen!

Have a tremendous Thursday, KNOWING that when you come to Christ you are going to LIVE forever.

Amen!

Don.

 

Life Overcomes Death

Jesus Victory Over Death

Daily Spirit & Word, 488: Life Overcomes Death.

40 Days With Jesus: Day 3: Life Overcomes Death.

Good morning my friends, I’ve just come back into the study after being out in the garden for prayer. As I reflected upon last night’s Street Evangelism and the people we met and had discussions with, I’m filled with excitement, expectation and wonder. We talked before going out about the meaning of being ‘Born Again’. We had a little tract to give to people and though it’s a phrase many Christians use every day, it’s my experience of regular ministry that most don’t know what it actually means or how a person gets born again. All they know is that it’s an imperative, that unless a person IS born again, they cannot enter into the Kingdom of Heaven. It was good preparation, because the conversations we had with people enabled us to engage them on a Spiritual level rather than merely focusing upon reason or argument. The best conversation I had last night was with a dedicated / devoted young Muslim man. We got chatting about the real meaning of Easter and Eternal Life and after inquiring, he explained the Muslim’s hope for Heaven. We gently shared that we believe that Jesus is God and that we who believe and trust in His death upon the Cross can gain assurance that we have a place in Heaven from the moment we trust in Him.

When we think about Mary Magdalene’s first encounter with Jesus and the first two disciples; Peter and John, we’re going to see some of humanity’s greatest fears blown out of the water. Sorry, that’s the Submariner in me speaking again 🙂 But one of the greatest fears human beings have is that DEATH is approaching and though we try to avoid it as best we can, there’s really not a lot we can do about it, because history proves that TEN out of TEN people will actually die, for those that know what that means, it’s a 100% success rate for DEATH.

If we’re not snatched away into eternity in our infancy, youth or young adult life, then from the age of about 45-50 we’re on the downward slope heading for certain death. Throughout history, in every generation, people have tried various ways to avoid the inevitable. Some have even tried to ensure that they have a good afterlife, like the ancient Egyptians and south Americans who mummified their corpses and provided material wealth and everything someone might need on the others side of life. No matter how hard we try, even with the best anti-aging treatments available, we eventually are hit with the reality we’re all going to die.

Great News For Believers:

The great news for those who believe in Jesus Christ is that we have a hope of being resurrected too. Jesus Christ overcame DEATH and came back to life after dying. However, many argue against Christianity on that basis, “Christians a just living in delusion and vainly hope for something that’s impossible”. But as you look at the historical evidence within the texts of the Bible and some manuscripts from non-believers at the time, you’ll discover that it’s based upon certain facts. The historicity of the resurrection is beyond question the most attested fact in the history of the human race. John devotes two whole chapters to the fact of the resurrection after the crucifixion and death of Jesus Christ. So my friends, our faith is not based upon wishful thinking or vain hopes for something that might never happen. It’s a sure and certain HOPE, because it’s already happened once, Jesus did rise and the evidence of those who met the risen Lord Jesus shout out the reality. Not only that, but millions of Christians all over the world will tell you today, “I KNOW Jesus”. We don’t just know about Jesus, we actually know Him from experience of walking, talking and being with Jesus every single day. We can’t see Him today physically, because He’s in Heaven, but we can know Him by Holy Spirit who’s within everyone who’s trusted in Jesus and His death upon the cross to wash us clean from our sins.

The Resurrection Was A Surprise

The Followers of Jesus DIDN’T expect Him to rise from the dead. That’s something we can see very clearly from John 20:2-9.

John 20:2-9 (NIV)
2  So she came running to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one Jesus loved, and said, “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we don’t know where they have put him!” 3  So Peter and the other disciple started for the tomb. 4  Both were running, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. 5  He bent over and looked in at the strips of linen lying there but did not go in. 6  Then Simon Peter, who was behind him, arrived and went into the tomb. He saw the strips of linen lying there, 7  as well as the burial cloth that had been around Jesus’ head. The cloth was folded up by itself, separate from the linen. 8  Finally the other disciple, who had reached the tomb first, also went inside. He saw and believed. 9  (They still did not understand from Scripture that Jesus had to rise from the dead.)

Mary was on the way to the tomb not to see Jesus but to perform his funeral rites and anoint his dead body. The Disciples didn’t expect Jesus to be alive either, they didn’t understand. So if the RESURRECTION was a hoax or trick, they’d surely have included the certainty that they expected Jesus to rise from death. That’s what I love about the Bible, it doesn’t hide the fact that those we hold up as pillars of the faith today, didn’t KNOW or UNDERSTAND Jesus message or mission even though they’d been with Him for over three years and witnessed his miracles and teachings. This for me is one of the greatest pointers to the authenticity of the Gospel accounts.

Peter an John didn’t hang around to find Jesus, they simply returned home. It was only Mary Magdalene who lingered and looked, perhaps that’s why she was the first to experience and see the resurrected Lord.

LIFE and DEATH

John’s Gospel is filled with contrasting elements; yesterday we looked at Light and Darkness, today we’re touching upon another greath theme that runs through and is weaved into almost every page of his Gospel account; Life Overcome Death. The Gospel begins with statements about Jesus being the source of LIFE and that He is in fact LIFE.

John 1:1-5
1  In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
2  He was with God in the beginning.
3  Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.
4  In him was life, and that life was the light of men.
5  The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it.

 

Then John goes on to tell us about the New Life that we can all have by receiving Jesus Christ as Lord. In many places you’ll see LIFE juxtaposed with DEATH. John 3:16-21. Tells us how we can know that we’ve passed from DEATH to LIFE. There are many incidents that John records where people in conversation with Jesus are given the revelation of LIFE and it’s fullness in Him John 4, John 6, John 10 and John 14. It’s full of LIFE and DEATH, but more importantly how believing and trusting in Jesus we can have both; fullness of life and eternal life in Him.

The Witness Of The Grave-Clothes.

The second fact of the resurrection’s historicity you’ll notice in John 20:2-9 above, is the presence of the grave-clothes. If Jesus body had been stolen or smuggled away as some suggest, then surely they’d have taken the most valuable things as well. Cloth was not cheap in those days, it was a luxury item and it would have been taken too. But the grave clothes were in place, Jesus body was not unwrapped like Lazarus’ was (John 11:44), but his resurrected body emerged out of the cloths without disturbing them. The head-covering was neatly folded.

 The Tomb of Jesus

The third fact of the authenticity of the resurrection is that the followers of Jesus didn’t venerate his tomb like those of other religions do today. That’s because Jesus didn’t stay in the tomb, he’s alive, He’s not there anymore, His Holy Body is gone and is ALIVE today in Heaven. There’s no body here on earth for us to find or worship or venerate. We serve a living Saviour.

Points to Ponder Day 3 of 40 Days With Jesus:

  • Consider the evidence given for the resurrection of Jesus in John 20:2-9. Which fact or facts do you find most convincing or compelling?
  • Are you living in a way that reflects the reality of the resurrection?
  • How do you feel about the fact that because Jesus has triumphed over death, you can have abundant life now and eternal life as gift from the moment you trusted Jesus?

Prayer:

Dear Lord Jesus, I thank you that You have provided such convincing proofs of Your resurrection. I’m rejoicing now that You didn’t stay in the tomb, but rose from the dead. I’m inviting You Lord Jesus to make Yourself known to me today. Oh Lord, grant me a spirit of wisdom and revelation that I might have a deeper and more lasting conviction of the historical reality of Your resurrection and how You have shown us that Your Life has Triumphed OVER Death, And that Life Overcomes Death. Amen.

Praying for all my friends who follow Daily Spirit & Word today. It’s been difficult to TAG people on Facebook, because when I try it locks me out and I have to enter a new password, they keep reporting my page has been hacked, but I know it hasn’t as it keeps a rocord of login attempts. So I’ll just have to rely upon people’s LIKES and SHARES  😎

40 Days With Jesus HomePage.

40 Days With Jesus Resources.

40 Days With Jesus Outline.

 

 

 

 

 

God’s Ancient Gospel Revealed

Daily Spirit & Word, 465: “I WILL Walk In His Ancient Paths”…

The Ancient GOSPEL: How God Saved Precious Souls.

Are not very different to the ways He’s winning, warning and wooing people today.

Good morning my friends, I love the way that bluebells come back every year and seem to get better and better the longer you leave them in the ground. You know my friends, long before the New Testament was completed our ancient brothers and sisters in the faith used the Old Testament to proclaim the Good News of the Lord Jesus Christ. When Paul was writing to Timothy, he understood the Spiritual nature and value of the Scriptures. 2 Tim 3:16-17. Therefore today I’m going to show you that picking up a text from the most ancient of the Old Testament books, the book of Job, which is considered by some to be the oldest, we can see that God used the same ways to lead men to the awareness of their need of a Saviour thousands of years before Christ came and how the LORD provided them with a pathway towards Salvation, New Life and a much closer walk with God.

 Our focus text today is from the book of Job.

  • Job 33:14-33 (ANIV)
  • 14  For God does speak—now one way, now another— though man may not perceive it.
  • 15  In a dream, in a vision of the night, when deep sleep falls on men as they slumber in their beds,
  • 16  he may speak in their ears and terrify them with warnings,
  • 17  to turn man from wrongdoing and keep him from pride,
  • 18  to preserve his soul from the pit, his life from perishing by the sword.
  • 19  Or a man may be chastened on a bed of pain with constant distress in his bones,
  • 20  so that his very being finds food repulsive and his soul loathes the choicest meal.
  • 21  His flesh wastes away to nothing, and his bones, once hidden, now stick out.
  • 22  His soul draws near to the pit, and his life to the messengers of death.
  • 23  “Yet if there is an angel on his side as a mediator, one out of a thousand, to tell a man what is right for him,
  • 24  to be gracious to him and say, ‘Spare him from going down to the pit; I have found a ransom for him’—
  • 25  then his flesh is renewed like a child’s; it is restored as in the days of his youth.
  • 26  He prays to God and finds favour with him, he sees God’s face and shouts for joy; he is restored by God to his righteous state.
  • 27  Then he comes to men and says, ‘I have sinned, and perverted what was right, but I did not get what I deserved.
  • 28  He redeemed my soul from going down to the pit, and I shall live to enjoy the light.’
  • 29  “God does all these things to a man— twice, even three times—
  • 30  to turn back his soul from the pit, that the light of life may shine on him.
  • 31  “Pay attention, Job, and listen to me; be silent, and I will speak.
  • 32  If you have anything to say, answer me; speak up, for I want you to be cleared.
  • 33  But if not, then listen to me; be silent, and I will teach you wisdom.”

WOWzer! You think you know the story of a book in the Bible, then the Lord opens it up by His Spirit and you suddenly observe new depths. You know the story of Job: How he was viewed by the LORD as a righteous man, then Satan came to test Job and was allowed to do so by the LORD. Satan wanted to see how far he would need to go to make Job curse God, but God knew Job’s heart and allowed the test. Remember Satan tests and tempts us to make us fail and fall from God’s Grace. The Lord, on the other hand, allows testing to come, so that we’ll be encouraged, strengthened and grow towards maturity in the Christian faith. God wants us to succeed and pass every test.

 First: God Speaks: (verse 14).

Some people think that God doesn’t say anything today, but as we’ll see from Job, God’s NOT silent, but uses many different ways to communicate with mankind. Job 33:14  “For God does speak—now one way, now another— though man may not perceive it.”

And in those ancient days it was the same; sometimes men could hear and sometimes, like today, they are DEAF. Jesus indicated that this was so too; (explaining the ancient prophesy of Isaiah) Matthew 13:13-15 “This is why I speak to them in parables: “Though seeing, they do not see; though hearing, they do not hear or understand. 14  In them is fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah: ” ‘You will be ever hearing but never understanding; you will be ever seeing but never perceiving. 15  For this people’s heart has become calloused; they hardly hear with their ears, and they have closed their eyes. Otherwise they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts and turn, and I would heal them.'”

Yes indeed my friends, God speaks today, as He did in ancient times, but there are hard hearts and deaf ears today, just as there were back then.

But their needs were the same then as they are today:

  1. a) They needed Conversion: Verse 14. (Even if they are unaware of it).
  2. b) They needed Repentance: Verse 17. (Pride says in the heart, “I don’t need God”).

Secondly: God Works The Same Way Today: RANSOM

Though men are deaf to God’s voice in Creation, though they may not listen or respond to an evangelist (Messenger), His heart so longs for men to turn in repentance and admit their need of God, that He’ll use the Ancient methods to turn are heart and soul towards Himself.

a) God Does ALL these things to a man: Job 33:29  “God does all these things to a man— twice, even three times—” He’s doing them again and again and again, to AWAKEN men and women to their need of God.

  1. b) God Speaks in their EARS: Job 33:16  “he may speak in their ears and terrify them with warnings,” Remember my friends, The FEAR of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom.
  2. c) God PAYS the PRICE for their SINS and Transgressions: Job 33:24  “to be gracious to him and say, ‘Spare him from going down to the pit; I have found a ransom for him'”

Kidnappers: When someone gets kidnapped, the kidnappers ask for a RANSOM, it’s the price that needs to be paid to set the captive free.

It’s the same today, God has found the RANSOM, He paid for mankind’s Salvation in the life and blood of His One and Only Son, Jesus Christ. (WOWzer! Can you see the Gospel in the ancient text today?)…. Jesus Christ has died to set mankind free from Sin, Satan and Death and Hell. This is the very verse that JUMPED out at me as I was reading Job this morning… God doesn’t want anyone to perish and end up going down to the pit of Hell, but everybody to come to repentance, that’s why He’s speaking so much to men and women who will not listen to Him.

 Thirdly: God Wants The Same Thing Today:

God used trouble, hardships, warnings, dreams, visions, revelations, to turn a man from the error of his ways. A life lived without reference to God’s Holy Standards, a life lived without God is a Rebellious state and God wants people to come and confess (admit) their sinfulness, to turn from their wicked ways, be converted, and to receive His Divine pardon and New Life.

Job 33:16  “he may speak in their ears and terrify them with warnings, 17  to turn man from wrongdoing and keep him from pride, 18  to preserve his soul from the pit, ….”

My friends, our Souls are even more precious to God than they are to us. No one would sell one of their eyes for even £100,000 punds would we? Would you? NO of course not, but why do we exchange our eternal souls for a few moments of pleasure in this life today? God wants to SAVE us more than we want to SAVE ourselves.

 Finally: When We’re SAVED by God the REWARDS are the same.

a) The Ransom Price Has Been Paid: Verse 24. Jesus Christ.

b) The Response Required Is The Same: Job 33:27  “Then he comes to men and says, ‘I have sinned, and perverted what was right, but I did not get what I deserved.” We deserve DEATH & HELL, but God’s GRACE is revealed by the RANSOM price He paid in Jesus Christ.

c) The Reward of LIFE and LIGHT of God’s Glory: Job 33:28  “He redeemed (paid the ransom price) my soul from going down to the pit (Death and Hell), and I shall live to enjoy the light.’

It’s also revealed in our most famous verses from the New Testament: John 3:16-17.

  • John 3:16-17 (ANIV)
  • 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.
  •  Job 33:26  “He prays to God and finds favour with him, he sees God’s face and shouts for joy; he is restored by God to his righteous state.”
  •  My friends, when we today HEAR the GOOD NEWS and RESPOND to God’s Voice, we’ll also see the LIGHT. We’ll walk with God for the rest of our lives and for all eternity. We’ll be REDEEMED from the PIT.

God’s Ancient ways ARE the exact same as His way today:

Jeremiah 6:16 (ANIV) “This is what the LORD says: “Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is, and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls. But you said, ‘We will not walk in it.'”

All God’s People today will say, “I WILL walk in His Ancient paths”… Amen!

That fact that the first Believers preached the Gospel from the Ancient Texts of the Bible should be an encouragement to us today, knowing that God’s WORD is the Inspired, Infallible, and Indefatigable WORD of God. Also, God’s Salvation PLAN has always been the same and His Ancient Gospel is Revealed in it’s pages. Praise the Lord! He’s the same, yesterday, today and forever. Amen.

Have an awesome weekend with your GREAT Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ.

Don.

God’s Ancient Gospel Revealed.

 

427 The Parable of the Good Samaritan.

427 Good Samaritan LOVE

 

Daily Spirit & Word, 427: Who Do You Know That Needs A Neighbour?

The Parable of the Good Samaritan.
Praise the LORD for today is the day we gather together to worship Him. In my home country Scotland, we call it “The Lord’s Day”. When I was a boy no shops opened on a Sunday, no bars, pubs or restaurants, because Sunday was a day of rest and lots of people attended church. It meant planning for you couldn’t just pop along to a shop to buy things like; mild, bread, butter or sugar. If you did run out of those things on a Sunday, that’s when you needed to know your neighbours, so you could borrow them.
As I read through the Bible text today, a question struck me; “Who do you know Donald that is in desperate need of a good neighbour today?”
Let’s read it now;
Luke 10:25-37 25 On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. “Teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?”
26  “What is written in the Law?” he replied. “How do you read it?”
27  He answered: ” ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbour as yourself.’ ”
28  “You have answered correctly,” Jesus replied. “Do this and you will live.”
29  But he wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbour?”
30  In reply Jesus said: “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he fell into the hands of robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half-dead.
31  A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side.
32  So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side.
33  But a Samaritan, as he travelled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him.
34  He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, brought him to an inn and took care of him.
35  The next day he took out two silver coins and gave them to the innkeeper. ‘Look after him,’ he said, ‘and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.’
36  “Which of these three do you think was a neighbour to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?”
37  The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.” Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.”
The Expert in the Law:
This ‘expert’ was not someone who knew all about Civil Law, but someone who was an ‘expert’ in God’s Law. Jewish Law was made up of the first five books of the Old Testament, often called the Torah; Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy.
Most times when they came to Jesus with a question they came with a question to try and test Jesus or trip him up to see if He’d make a foolish mistake in interpreting or applying the Law, then they’d have reason to either put Jesus to death or make him out to look like a fool in the eyes of everyone. This was such an occasion, for the ‘expert’ in the Law “Stood up to test Jesus”.
This indicated to me that he must have been sitting down with Jesus, probably in a group with others, because why would he try and test Jesus on his own? He’d want to show, in front of others that this man, who claimed to be the Son of God, the Messiah, the Son of Man, was an imposter and a fool. That’s the kind of test or trap he’d set for Jesus.
The Expert’s Question: 
When the Expert in the Law asked, “Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” He was not as we might imagine acknowledging Jesus as his teacher, but a ‘teacher of people’. For that is what Jesus did. The text says he was an expert in the law, therefore, he probably thought he knew the Law of God, better than this illiterate, unlearned (Jesus never attended any highly respected school of Rabbinical teaching) and unenlightened man.
He seemed to know the answer, before he ever asked Jesus the question. That’s what it means to try and trip someone up, knowing the ‘right’ answer, and trying and make him out to be a fool.
The LORD’S Response:
Jesus, as was His custom when confronted with a sneaky, tricky, twisted question asked another question in response, “What is written in the law?” “How do you read it?”
Jesus is asking a very important question here; “What is written in the law”: He saying to the expert, “What does God say is required to gain or merit eternal life?”
Jesus very often, when asked questions by people; even genuine questions, checked their understanding of God’s Law. You see Jesus knew the Old Testament was God’s Word and must be obeyed and applied to life, so he asked the ‘Expert’ a further question, “How do you read it?” He’s saying, “OK, ‘Expert in the Law’, What does the Law say and what does the Law mean?”
Jesus also knew something many Christians don’t know today; that a Jewish ‘Expert’ in the Law, would have attended one of the Rabbinical Schools of Thought (Rabbi was someone who taught the people and expounded upon God’s Law; it was his task to interpret the law and apply it to daily living). Each School of Thought had slightly different interpretations of God’s Law and this often led to very heated debates amongst rival Rabbis.
So when Jesus asked this question, He knew that when this so called expert responded, Jesus would know which school of thought he’d been trained in.
Clergymen: In the Church of England, there are different schools of thought too:
  • Anglo-Catholic (Almost Roman Catholic, but not quite).
  • Liberal: This is a group made up of partly Catholic orthodox in practice, but loose in belief or dogma.
  • Evangelical: Made up of Reformed, Evangelical and Charismatic believers.
Each group normally attends a Theological School of Thought based upon their pre-determined convictions.
It’s weird when we gather together and try to figure each other out, sometimes we’ll get asked by another, “Where did you train for the Ministry?” Upon getting the answer they’ll know what our convictions are, and sometimes it’s rather sad. I was asked once and when I responded the man simply said “Oh” (As if he’d smelt rotten eggs) and he walked away from me.
“The Golden Rule”
So when Jesus asked this question, whatever the man responded with, Jesus would know if his question was a genuine one or not. His first response seemed to indicate he was on the right track towards Heaven and Eternal Life. He responded with what had come to be known as; “The Golden Rule”
He answered: ” ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbour as yourself.’ “
We say this almost every week here in St Luke’s Church before we have a time of Confession.
What does it mean?
Where does it come from?
The Golden Rule: Love God: Love Neighbour.
“Do unto others, what you’d want them to do for you”…
The Way To Eternal Life:
The Expert Knew The Answer: But didn’t want to live by what he knew was right.
Luke 10:29. “But he wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbour?””
When we speak of eternal life, and the way to obtain it, in a careless manner as this Pharisee did, then we’re standing in judgement over God’s revealed will. It as if the man thought he knew better than God’s Word did.
You see my friends, no one will ever LOVE God completely as the Commandments Demand, neither will anyone be able to LOVE his neighbour as he loves himself. We can’t do these two things with any measure of pure, spiritual love in our own human strength, because it will always be tainted with sin.
It’s not until we’ve been born of God, by the Holy Spirit of God, that we can do it. We can only love God by the power and strength and renewal of Spirit of God. In order to LOVE God as the Scriptures Demand, we must first be changed into one of God’s Children. We need His Grace which is obtained by Faith.
The Proud of Heart: Will never see it.
 But the proud heart of man strives hard against these convictions. They’ll always try to JUSTIFY THEMSELVES.
That’s why Jesus clarified the LAW for this Pharisee: This Expert in God’s Law. He knew it, but was self-righteously standing in judgement over it.
Why did Jesus use the LAW? Because the right understanding of the LAW of God, will reveal that we can never be justified in our own strength, because no one can wholeheartedly live according to God’s Holy LAW.
Acts 13:38-39 “Therefore, my brothers, I want you to know that through Jesus the forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you. 39  Through him everyone who believes is justified from everything you could not be justified from by the law of Moses.
We can NEVER be Justified or Earn a Place in Heaven, by trying to live according to God’s Law, Moses (first five books of the Bible). Why, because the LAW doesn’t take care of SIN. Sin still clings to the human heart, until it’s washed away by the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ.
In this Parable of the Good Samaritan: Jesus Christ gave an instance of a poor Jewish man in distress, who was given relief by a good Samaritan. This poor man fell among thieves, who left him about to die of his wounds.
He was ignored by those who should have been his friends, the Priest and the Levite (People who claimed to know God’s Law, just like this ‘Expert’ who was questioning Jesus)  and was instead cared for by a stranger, a Samaritan, of the nation which the Jews most despised and detested, and would have no dealings with. They believed the Samaritans to be beyond hope of being brought into God’s Family of Believers.
 Oh my friends, it is really distressing to discover how selfishness governs the hearts of most people today.
Just like this Pharisee, the Expert in God’s Law; how many excuses will we make to avoid our DUTY to CARE, Revealed in God’s Law of LOVE?
We avoid caring for others as the Bible and God’s Word and God wants, because it will mean; commitment, time, trouble and expense in helping others.
  • However, the true Christian is one who has God’s law of love written in his heart.
  • The Holy Spirit of Jesus Christ dwells within a true Christian.
  • We’re being made into the likeness of Jesus Christ by the Holy Spirit, we’ll become more and more like Jesus Christ. That’s what RENEWAL means. That’s what REVIVAL means.
This Parable of the Good Samaritan is a BEAUTIFUL EXAMPLE of the GOLDEN RULE: How we should love others as ourselves. God’s LAW of loving Him first and loving our neighbour as ourselves.
A Christian will love someone without even thinking about;
  • which Nation they come from,
  • which Political Party they belong to,
  • which Religious Affiliations they may have; Jew, Muslim, Jehovah’s Witness, Catholic, Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist,
A truly CONVERTED and BORN AGAIN Christian will GIVE ASSISTANCE to ANYONE, REGARDLESS.
THE LORD JESUS CHRIST, LIKE THE GOOD SAMARITAN:
Finally, the Parable of the Good Samaritan REVEALS the DEPTH of the kindness and love of God and of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ towards; sinful people like you and me.
How? Because, in our NATURAL STATE: Before we come to Christ, we were like this poor, distressed Jewish traveller. We were set upon and beaten up by our great enemy Satan. He had robbed us of the knowledge of the Saviour, Blinded us to the Gospel, and wounded us by tempting us to sin: That’s what SIN has done for mankind and Satan wants to keep us in that darkness too.
Then through His GRACE, MERCY, KINDNESS, LOVE AND FAITHFULNESS, Your beloved Lord Jesus Christ (Like the Good Samaritan) had compassion upon you.
How Did Jesus Show Compassion?
  • He bound up your wounds; “By His stripes you have been healed” When Jesus died upon the Cross, your sins were forgiven and washed away when you TRUSTED Him as your SAVIOUR.
  • His blood shed upon the CROSS Cleanses us from ALL SIN.
  • Jesus Christ gives us a chance of NEW LIFE, rather than ETERNAL DEATH.
  • Finally, like the Good Samaritan who paid the innkeeper for the wounded traveller, Jesus paid the price so that you can stay with God forever, being cared for and having every tear wiped away by Him in Heaven.
 The believer considers that Jesus loved him, and gave his life for him, even whilst we were still his enemy and a rebel; and Jesus having shown us His mercy, encourages us by His Holy Spirit and by the Word of God, to go and do likewise.
Romans 5:6-8   “You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. 7  Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die. 8  But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” 
THE BELIEVER IN CHRIST, LIKE THE GOOD SAMARITAN.
It is the duty of every Christian,
it is the impulse of every Christian,
it is the hearts desire of every true Christian to LOVE like Jesus loves us.
We’ll do it; 
in our homes, being a good neighbour to our family.
in our places of work, being a good neighbour to our workmates,
in our neighbourhood, being a good neighbour to those who live around us,
in our country and nation and world, being a good neighbour to everybody, regardless of who they are.
How will we do it? We’ll want to help them, if we are able, to relieve their distress, bind up their wounds, heal the sick, drive out demons, give to the poor, be generous, welcoming, hospitable, kind, and show peace to everybody.
You can’t do that without first coming to Jesus Christ, to be forgiven, cleansed and renewed by His Holy Spirit, He’ll then pour into your hearts that same love that He has for everyone.
What’s Amazing About Jesus?
He used every challenge or trap set for Him by the Pharisees and Sadducees, Experts in the LAW; as an opportunity to open up the Law of God and reveal God’s way of understanding it and applying it to life. WOWzer! You can do that too my friends, when you face challenges, traps or tricks of men. When they question you about why you would trust in Jesus today. Open up God’s Law to reveal their heart’s condition and show them the way of Salvation.
My friends, you’ve hopefully seen the Parable of the Good Samaritan in a new light.
Let’s get RENEWED first, before we become religious.
We need to make certain that we’re saved, before we try to be saved or live like a Christian.
The Good Samaritan HEART is available from Jesus Christ, do you want to love others like Jesus did?
Who do you know who needs a Good Neighbour?
“Go and do thou likewise”
Have an awesome Sunday,
Don.
Trust in and Worship the LORD with all your heart, lean not upon your own understanding (of God’s Law), in all your ways acknowledge HIM and He will direct your paths through life.
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Today’s reading can be found here: