When the Gospel Becomes Good News

when the Gospel become Good News

Daily Spirit & Word: 787: When The Gospel Becomes Good News.

The Grinding Power of Sin.

Slaves Set Free:

Romans 6:19-22 (NIV)
19  I put this in human terms because you are weak in your natural selves. Just as you used to offer the parts of your body in slavery to impurity and to ever-increasing wickedness, so now offer them in slavery to righteousness leading to holiness.
20  When you were slaves to sin, you were free from the control of righteousness.
21  What benefit did you reap at that time from the things you are now ashamed of? Those things result in death!
22  But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves to God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life.

Good morning my friends, it was a good night of witnessing on the Streets of West Norwood last night. We gave out a few tracts, but after just a couple of minutes were were into a wonderful Gospel conversation with a lovely young couple from Madeira (Portugal). Last night I teamed up with Judy (Ben’s wife) and we just got chatting by given the couple a Million Pound Note (One of our little Gospel Tracts). I asked the young man, “If it was real, what would you do with it?” He answered, “I’d return to Portugal”. And the woman said, “I’d return to Madeira”. I said, “WOW, that’s really interesting, why Madeira?” They said, “Life in Madeira compared to London is like heaven”. I said, “Here’s what we’re about tonight, do you believe in Heaven?” They both said, “Not really, we don’t think about Heaven as a place”… I said, “Do you believe in God?” They answered “No, not really”… I was intrigued and asked a few more questions about their beliefs. It turns out, they both had to attend religious education in Madeira until they were twelve, that was the tradition in Madeira. They attended church, but as soon as they were twelve years old they were free from the burdens of religious observance.

So I opened up the ‘Spiritual’ conversation again with, “Madeira is reputed to have some of the oldest people on the planet, some people live to well into their hundreds.” The woman, Tatiana, knew a woman who’d died at 119 years old. I continued, “If you live to 120 years, then you die, if Heaven is real, where will you go? Heaven or Hell?” They both stated, “Well I’m a good person, so if heaven is real, I’ll definitely go there”. It’s amazing, because we know from experience that most people believe what Tatiana and Pedro do, that ‘good people’ go to heaven and bad people go to hell. Also, that most people believe they are the good ones, and if Heaven is real they will be good enough.

I asked, “We’ve got a little test that shows you immediately if you’d be good enough for Heaven” I gave them both one of our Ten Commandment Coins. They took it and said, “WOW this is nice”… I said, “You can keep it, it’s yours. Now the Ten Commandments are like a mirror, they show a person the condition of their soul on the inside.” They both remembered the Ten Commandments from their childhood teachings. I asked both of them, “The Commandments say, ‘Don’t tell lies’, Have you ever told a lie?” They both admitted readily that they’d told lies. We got into a conversation about lying, and agreed that almost everybody has told at least one lie, even me and Judy 🙂 But they didn’t see the seriousness of lying. I asked, “How many lies do I have to tell to become a Liar?” They said, “Just one”. “That’s right” I said, “It only takes one lie to make a person a liar, but did you know that just one lie will keep you out of heaven for all eternity?” They said, “Then nobody is going to be in Heaven”… (Isn’t that sobering? The fact that nobody will go to heaven if they died in their sins?”)

Here’s the next one; “Have you ever stolen anything?” They both said, “When we were kids”, but then went onto admit they’d also taken things that didn’t belong to them as adults. Pedro had nicked from his mother’s purse. Tatiana had stolen music on the internet. However, neither of them saw the seriousness of their crime before God, yet 🙂  I said, “Are you aware the Bible teaches that no thief can enter into the Kingdom of God?”

Here’s the next one; “Pedro and Tatiana, you’ve both been really honest so far, but have you always honoured your mum and dad?” Family honour is very important in Portugal, they both said, “We’d never dishonour our mum and dad, but I took them back over the commands they’d already admitted and said, “Stealing and lying to your mum and dad, that’s dishonourable don’t you think?” They both nodded in shame. But the Bible teaches that when we dishonour our mum and dad, we’re cut off from the Kingdom forever.

So I asked, “That’s just three of the commandments, if God were to Judge you by that standard, would you go to Heaven or Hell?” They said, “Hell”… Then we got into a conversation about the after-life again and what they really believed. I brought it back after a few minutes, “but suppose it is real, Heaven and Hell, wouldn’t you want to make sure you’d be on your way to Heaven? You see Pedro and Tatiana, God doesn’t want to send a single soul to Hell forever, He did something 2000 years ago to give people the chance of going to Heaven, do you know what that was?”. They didn’t know, so I asked, “Have you heard about Jesus?” They both clicked, “Jesus was God come down to Earth to show us how to live a good life”… Then I asked, “How did Jesus die?” It was like turning a light on in a dark room. Pedro and Tatiana said, “He died for our sins”… “It’s not enough to know that Jesus died for sins” I explained, “To get forgiven and cleansed from our sins so that we’ll be fit for heaven, we’ll need to do something, do you know what that is?” They both said, “Repent and ask for forgiveness”… I said, “Yes that’s right, but there’s more. Everyone need to believe and trust in Jesus Christ, receive Him as Lord (Boss of their life), and ask for forgiveness, trusting that Jesus died for their own sins. Does that make sense to you?”

I asked them, (they both work in the Catering industry), if you took a delivery of chicken and one piece of chicken was rotten, would you put it in the fridge beside the good chicken?” They both said, “No, we’d throw it out,” I asked, “Why? Why would you throw out that rotten piece of chicken?” They said, “Because it would contaminate the rest of the chicken”. I explained, “That’s exactly why God will not let anyone who dies in their sins; lying, stealing etc into His Holy Heaven, because our sins would contaminate His Holy Heaven”… They both said, “Then nobody is going to Heaven”… I said, “That’s right, unless they repent and turn in faith to the Lord Jesus Christ, who died for their sins on the Cross and receive Him as their Lord and Saviour”…

PRAYER:

You know my friends, Pedro and Tatiana both thanked us last night. We encouraged them to read the Bible and see if what we were telling them was the truth. We asked them to come to church. We said we’d be prepared to meet-up with them again and pray and read the Bible over a coffee. But I encouraged them, “Don’t leave it too long before you turn to Jesus”… They walked away chatting together.

It’s not enough to just proclaim the Gospel, we’ve got to try and help people to understand it, that takes time, love, care, gentleness, humour, but above all boldness to bring the conversation back to the most important topic, their eternal destiny. I thank the Lord for Pedro and Tatiana, will you pray for them, that they’ll both come to the point of receiving Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour? We had a good laugh, but always got back to the seriousness of their spiritual condition. It’s amazing, but once people understand the Gospel, they are either thankful or disturbed. Pedro and Tatiana had never heard the Gospel explained or why Jesus died on the Cross like that before. Can you see the desperate need there is, to take time with folks and love them enough to share Jesus’ message of Good News?

Now, their God given Conscience will go to work, it will do it’s job of showing them their sins again (How? Because the Law of God brings light to the soul, it awakens the Conscience ), the Holy Spirit will use the Gospel to draw them to faith and trust in Jesus Christ.

WHY USE THE TEN COMMANDMENTS?

Some people ask us, “Why don’t you just talk about the love of God and Grace? Why do you keep going on about the Commandments?” Well, if I was to just tell someone they are a sinner without explaining why, they’d be offended. It’s offensive to just say, “We’ve all sinned and fall short of the glory of God” because most people don’t think they have, most people don’t know the seriousness of their sins. We’ve found that about 90% of people think they a good enough for Heaven. So we need to show a person just how serious sin is, before they’ll even consider listening to the Good News. The good news only makes sense when we see the seriousness of our condition without a Saviour.

Here’s the reason why we use the LAW (Ten Commandments) when sharing the Gospel with folks: It awakens the Conscience: “we become conscious of sin”… In other words, we see the seriousness of our sinful condition by opening up God’s law.

Romans 3:19-20 (NIV)
19  Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be silenced and the whole world held accountable to God. 20  Therefore no-one will be declared righteous in his sight by observing the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of sin.

Charles Spurgeon said: Concerning The Law (Ten Commandments).

  1. The first use of the law is to manifest to man his guilt.

When God intends to save a man, the first thing he does with him is to send the law to him, to show him how guilty, how vile, how ruined he is, and in how dangerous a position. You see that man lying there on the edge of the precipice; he is sound asleep, and just on the perilous verge of the cliff. One single movement, and he will roll over and be broken in pieces on the jagged rocks beneath, and nothing more shall be heard of him. How is he to be saved? What shall be done for him—what shall be done! It is our position; we, too, are lying on the brink of ruin, but we are insensible of it. God, when he begins to save us from such an imminent danger, sendeth his law, which, with a stout kick, rouses us up, makes us open our eyes, we look down on our terrible danger, discover our miseries, and then it is we are in a right position to cry out for salvation, and our salvation comes to us. The law acts with man as the physician does when he takes the film from the eye of the blind. Self-righteous men are blind men, though they think themselves good and excellent. The law takes that film away, and lets them discover how vile they are, and how utterly ruined and condemned if they are to abide under the sentence of the law.

Instead, however, of treating this doctrinally, I shall treat it practically, and come home to each of your consciences. My, hearer, does not the law of God convince you of sin this morning? Under the hand of God’s Spirit does it not make you feel that you have been guilty, that you deserve to be lost, that you have incurred the fierce anger of God? Look ye here, have ye not broken these ten commandments; even in the letter have ye not broken them? Who is there among you who hath always honored his father and mother? Who is there among us who hath always spoken the truth? Have we not sometimes borne false witness against our neighbor? Is there one person here who has not made unto himself another God, and loved himself, or his business, or his friends, more than he has Jehovah, the God of the whole earth? Which of you hath not coveted your neighbour’s house, or his man-servant, or his ox, or his ass? We are all guilty with regard to every letter of the law; we have all of us transgressed the commandments. And if we really understood these commandments, and felt that they condemned us, they would have this useful influence on us of showing us our danger, and so of leading us to fly to Christ. But, my hearers, does not this law condemn you, because even if you should say you have not broken the letter of it, yet you have violated the spirit of it. What, though you have never killed, yet we are told, he that is angry with his brother is a murderer. As a negro said once, “Sir, I thought me no kill—me innocent there; but when I heard that he that hateth his brother is a murderer, then me cry guilty, for me have killed twenty men before breakfast very often, for I have been angry with many of them very often.” This law does not only mean what it says in words, but it has deep things hidden in its bowels. It says, “Thou shalt not commit adultery,” but it means, as Jesus has it, “He that looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.” It says, “Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain,” it meaneth that we should reverence God in every place, and have his fear before our eyes, and should always pay respect unto his ordinances and evermore walk in his fear and love. Ay, my brethren, surely there is not one here so fool-hardy in self-righteousness as to say, “I am innocent.” The spirit of the law condemns us. And this is its useful property; it humbles us, makes us know we are guilty, and so are we led to receive the Saviour.

http://www.romans45.org/spurgeon/sermons/0128.htm

We saw that this is exactly right, it happened last night, when we opened up the law with Pedro and Tatiana, they soon stopped trying to justify themselves and wanted to know what they could do to be saved from the consequences of the law.

The Grinding Power Of Sin: Samson was in PRISON:

Judges 16:20-22 (NIV)
20  Then she called, “Samson, the Philistines are upon you!” He awoke from his sleep and thought, “I’ll go out as before and shake myself free.” But he did not know that the LORD had left him.
21  Then the Philistines seized him, gouged out his eyes and took him down to Gaza. Binding him with bronze shackles, they set him to grinding in the prison.
22  But the hair on his head began to grow again after it had been shaved.

He was blinded, bound and made to grind the corn for God’s enemies.

That’s the condition of everyone who lives with sin in their life, until they are set free by the LORD Jesus Christ. Sin blinds, it binds and it makes us grind. Life is worth living to the full, but life like Samson’s is; darkness, slavery and drudgery. Until we’re set free by the LORD Jesus Christ.

The prison is a place of blinding, binding and grinding!

Grinding was considered to be woman’s work, this added to Samson’s humiliation.

Here is the point; Samson was born to be a liberator. He was raised up by God to lead the people of God out of bondage. He was given power so that he might use his energy for the glory of the Lord. But, here is the mighty judge of Israel, blinded, bound and grinding corn for the enemies of God. (Note: That is the power of sin! It will rob you of your power and leave you with nothing with which to serve God. There will be no time, no energy and no interest in the things of God. Your life will be dominated by the grinding power of sin.)

My friends, share the Gospel with the folks you love.

Get full of God’s love and you’ll want to set others free.

Their condition, as Charles Spurgeon has so eloquently put it, is perilous. They are on the cliff-edge, in danger of God’s judgement and hell. If anyone dies in their sins, they’ll receive God’s wrath against sin. Let’s set as many free by going, by showing, by loving them into God’s Kingdom family. Amen!

Be blessed today and stay close to Jesus in the power of the Holy Spirit. Amen!

Don.

 

You can read or listen to Hell’s Best Kept Secret by Ray Comfort.

or even watch it below:

 

Forgotten and Forgiven

What God chooses to forget, your sins. What God chooses to Remember, your good deeds

Daily Spirit & Word: 777:

Divine Forgetfulness.

What God Forgets & What God Remembers.

Good morning my friends, my holiday has begun. A time to relax, unwind and be renewed. Of course we don’t need holidays to do that, but it feels good to be having a break of sorts. One thing I cannot do is have a break from my quiet time with Jesus; prayer, praise, worship, Bible study and meditation every day. If I’m BLESSED (777) is a good number 🙂

Can’t quite believe that DAILY SPIRIT & WORD is 777 today.

What’s DS&W for? After a 40 Day Bible Study (and sharing on Facebook), I decided to keep going, to keep sharing, to encourage Christians, to build up the Church, to strengthen faith and to lead others to faith and trust in the LORD Jesus Christ.

As a young Christian (Born Again in April 1984) I used to love reading “Every Day With Jesus” by Selwyn Hughes. However, it wasn’t long before my hunger wasn’t satisfied by Hughes’ offerings, brilliant, encouraging and insightful though they were. You see I was reading more of the Bible and being fed by the Holy Spirit as I read and studied myself. Not long after that my study took on a new shape and form by reading and studying “Celebration of Discipline” by Richard Foster… I learned the secrets of Biblical Fasting, Biblical Confession and Repentance, Biblical Meditation and Biblical Prayer. I began to keep a daily journal and record my thoughts, insights from Scripture and prayers. It’s often amazing looking back over the years of prayers, and seeing how the LORD has been so faithful and has answered so many. What strikes me more than anything though, is that He doesn’t always answer in the ways that I’d expected or wanted at the time, but I can see clearly that I must trust HIM, because He knows what’s best and has the future and past available to Him; nothing surprises God. I’m so thankful that He didn’t give me what I wanted, how I wanted, at the time that I wanted it.

He’s been working on my soul to bring it in line with His plan.

Jesus has a wonderful plan for your life too and when you think clearly about what God wants, and how His Divine memory works, you’ll be astounded.

He NEVER Forgets Your Hard Work:

Hebrews 6:10 (NIV) “God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them.” Jesus said something similar in His parable of the Sheep and the Goats, “When you did it for the least of these, you did it for Me”… Awesome.

Matthew 25:31-46 (NIV) The Parable of the Sheep & Goats.
31  “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his throne in heavenly glory.
32  All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats.
33  He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.
34  “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world.
35  For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in,
36  I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’
37  “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink?
38  When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you?
39  When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’
40  “The King will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.’
41  “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.
42  For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink,
43  I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’
44  “They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’
45  “He will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’
46  “Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.”

No my friends, God’s Divine REMEMBRANCE or Holy Memory: Extends to all the GOOD things you do for Him.

NOTE: Remember though, that Good Works cannot SAVE YOUR SOUL, they just prove to you and the world that you’ve been saved by Jesus. We do good works because we are grateful servants, because we’ve been loved, blessed and forgiven by Jesus. We do them not to earn a place in Heaven, that’s already ours because we’ve trusted in Jesus. However, if our FAITH and TRUST don’t then move onto action and good works, we prove that our faith and trust in Jesus wasn’t genuine. If we’re not going about doing good like Jesus as His followers, then we are not saved at all.

However, God remembers you good works, He rewards your Kingdom Labour. He tells us that by doing good we’ll be storing up treasure for ourselves in heaven that will last for all eternity. How RICH are you going to be in Heaven? Have you been busy doing good whilst you can down here on the Earth? Invest in your Heavenly Dwelling Place; that really is your KINGDOM RETIREMENT PLAN: Heavenly Kingdom Investments (Good Works that you keep secret, just between you and God). If you boast about the good things you’ve done for and towards others down here on Earth, then you’ve just taken some of that Heavenly Investment and used it for your earthly glory. So my thinking is, don’t boast about your good works, God will never forget, He keeps a Divine and Holy Record book and will reward you in Heaven. He NEVER forgets.

But What Does God Forget?

He FORGETS your sins.

You’ll be rewarded for your good works done in secret, because God always remembers.

But what’s even more amazing and astounding is that God will forget your sins.

Isaiah 43:25 (NIV) “I, even I, am he who blots out your transgressions, for my own sake, and remembers your sins no more.”

Hebrews 8:12 (NIV) “…For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.”

Psalm 103:11-13 (NIV)
11  For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him;
12  as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.
13  As a father has compassion on his children, so the LORD has compassion on those who fear him;

Oh my friends, how we NEED to get this TRUTH into our hearts, minds and souls today: God chooses to FORGET your sins.

When you truly REPENT and turn away from sin and turn to the LORD for His forgiveness, He really does forgive and cleanse you from every sin, then FORGETS them. He chooses (Somehow) to forget your SIN. I don’t know how God does that, but when you get to heaven and look in His RECORD BOOK of your life, when it comes to your records of sins you are going to see just BLANK pages, because once you truly repent they’re forgotten, forgiven, wiped clean. God will remember your sins no more.

What does that make you feel like? It makes me feel like dancing. It makes me want to serve the LORD with gladness. It make me want to jump and leap for JOY. All my sins are washed away when I turn in complete repentance to Jesus. Of course it took Jesus to die upon the Cross to make this possible, but once you’ve trusted in Jesus, God sees you as completely clean from all your sins. AWESOME!

FORGIVENESS FEELS GOOD

As I was reading that Hebrews verse above, I was encouraged (by the Holy Spirit) to keep reading in context.

WOWzer! God’s written His LAW on the Hearts of EVERYONE… Instead of on tablets of stone, instead of needing to remind children of God’s law, He’s now (under the New Covenant) written His LAW (The Ten Commandments) upon the hearts of every human being, so they KNOW RIGHT from WRONG. When we do wrong, our Conscience will be screaming out to us, don’t do that, God doesn’t like it. When we choose to be obedient, we’ll sense the Holy Spirit’s POWER within and His JOY in our hearts.

Hebrews 8:10-13 (NIV) The New Covenant (New Testament).
10  This is the covenant I will make with the house of Israel after that time, declares the Lord. I will put my laws in their minds and write them on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people.
11  No longer will a man teach his neighbour, or a man his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ because they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest.
12  For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.”
13  By calling this covenant “new”, he has made the first one obsolete; and what is obsolete and ageing will soon disappear.

WOWzer! It’s so encouraging that the LORD Remembers your Good Works, but Forgets your Sins (Bad works, deeds)… He chooses to forget them all, but we MUST TURN in true repentance and put our faith and trust in Jesus. Stop trusting in your own goodness and get right with God by confessing your sins. Once you do that He’ll wipe your records clean in Heaven and you are given a brand new start with a fresh new LIFE. He’s got so much good that He wants you to be busy doing every day for Jesus.

Keep; loving, forgiving, helping, serving, praising, witnessing, leading people to Jesus, encouraging, strengthening, refreshing others with the gifts that the LORD has bestowed upon you.

Live it for Jesus today, Amen!

Don.

 

Sitting At A Table

Faith Sharing on the Streets of London

Daily Spirit & Word: 775: Sitting at a table chatting…

Hearing The Good News

Romans 10:17 (NIV) “Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ.”

Imagine you’re sitting at a table with a friend you’ve not seen for years and two men come up to you and begin to talk about Jesus? Well that’s what happened last night outside Knowles of Norwood Pub in West Norwood, London.

Knowles of Norwood Pub, West Norwood. London.
Knowles of Norwood Pub, West Norwood. London.

As we were walking along sharing the Good News with folks last night (27th July 2016), we came to Knowles of Norwood. The pavement is wide and there are tables outside for customers to sit and have a nice drink. We got chatting with a few customers and we were able shar the Gospel with two men, then moved along to the next table and began to chat with another two. They were smartly dressed professional looking gentlemen. We gave them a Ticket to Heaven tract and asked them if they believed in Heaven. One did, but the other said he wasn’t sure there was a heaven or even a God. We got chatting about the possibility and he said, “I’m agnostic”, we then said, “Oh, you’ll love our Atheist Test then”… We gave them one and began chatting through the test, but they politely said, “We’ve not seen each other in a long time and we’re here just to catch-up tonight”. We apologised for the interruption, but my companion David said, “That’s OK gents, we’ll be back in about half an hour, if you’re ready to talk then, we can chat”… We heard them laughing out loud as we walked away.

So we went down the road, sharing Jesus with a few more folks, having great Gospel conversations along the way. As we turned around and proceeded back towards the table about 3/4 of an hour later, they were still seated chatting away. We asked them, “Have you caught up now? We’re back with Jesus”… They laughed and one said, “You know guys, my mum is a Born Again Christian, and she’s been praying for and trying to convert me for ages. I’ll definitely read all this stuff you’ve given me”… We’d given them three different tracts, one Ten Commandment Coin and a “Thank you for chatting” card. I replied, “Perhaps this is Jesus wake-up call, we don’t know how much time we’ve got left: The BIBLE is Basic Instruction Before Leaving Earth: read that too, God bless you guys”… As we walked away I heard the Agnostic saying to his friend, “Those guys are persistent and funny”…

We met another man called Mark, he’d recently come over from Jamaica and we could see conviction coming over him as we shared. He knew the Gospel, said he believed in Jesus and knew all about the choice he needed to make, but was not ready yet. When we asked why, he said, “I don’t really know”. Then we asked, “Is there anything we can pray for?” He said, “I need a job, I’ve been looking for ages but can’t find work”… We prayed right there on the streets for him that the LORD would direct him to a job and that he would glorify God when he saw this answered prayer. When I asked him, “Do you own a Bible?” He said, “Yes and I read it most days”… I said, “That’s fantastic, do you know the Lord will be speaking to you through His Word?”… He said, “He definitely does”… Praise the LORD!

You know my friends, sharing the Gospel of Jesus can be; fun, friendly, full of faith and Spiritually forceful.

A Person is SAVED by: Believing in Jesus and by Confessing Him as LORD, but they can only do that once they’ve heard the whole Gospel of Jesus Christ. However, FAITH comes by Hearing the Good News. 

Romans 10:7-15 (NIV)
7  “or ‘Who will descend into the deep?’ ” (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead).
8  But what does it say? “The word is near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart,” that is, the word of faith we are proclaiming:
9  That if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.
10  For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.
11  As the Scripture says, “Anyone who trusts in him will never be put to shame.”
12  For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile—the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him,
13  for, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”
14  How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them?
15  And how can they preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!”

Romans 10:17 (NIV) “Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ.”

We’ve got to leave some things up to the LORD, because He said that “Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of the Lord”… Pray that He’ll continue to draw these three men to himself by the Holy Spirit, pray that everyone we shared with last night might be TRANSFORMED by the renewing of their minds, hearts and wills. Amen!

I’m praying for you all too, those of you who know Jesus Christ as Lord! That you will be active in sharing your faith in Jesus with those who don’t yet know Him as Lord. Don’t give up, be persistent, be persuasive, trust in the LORD that once you’ve shared the Good News, He will continue to draw people to Himself. Remember, faith comes by hearing the Good News, but we’ve got to go out and be obedient to Jesus command to share it.

Don.

 

Oh Happy Day

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

Daily Spirit & Word: 771: Oh Happy Day

You Have the POWER to Deliver.

With Jesus ALL THINGS Are Possible.

BUT:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

MORE DETAILS: Primary Focus:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Don.

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

God Knows Me Intimately

God's Knowledge of Us

Daily Spirit & Word: 761: God Knows Me

How Does God Know Us?

Psalm 139: Study 1. He Knows You Intimately.

WOWzer! Did anyone hear that THUNDER last night? I’ve not seen rain like this in years.

I don’t know about you, but I LOVE the thunder and lightning. It’s like God speaking to us in a very loud voice, but what is He saying?

Yesterday morning we had an awesome prayer gathering, during which we sang “What a mighty God we serve” I’m not kidding, HEAVEN came into our gathering. There was only a few of us, but WOWzer!

Today, I’m going to begin a short series looking at Psalm 139. It’s such a wonderful, amazing and enlightening Psalm, full of insight about how God knows us, the plans He has for us and His control of our situations, leading us to KNOW we can fully trust HIM.

Why Psalm 139?

We all make decisions every day, (Not just EU Referendum Day), but how we make them, that’s what counts. Because what we think about God and our relationship with Him determines what we think about everything else that makes up our busy little world. When we get God’s perspective right, then other people, the universe, God’s Word, God’s will, sin, faith, and obedience and our choices will lead us in the right direction. On the other hand, wrong ideas about God will ultimately lead to wrong ideas about who we are, where we should go and what we should do, and this leads us down a crooked path toward the wrong destiny. In other words, the right knowledge of God is essential to the abundant and fulfilled life the LORD wants you to have in this world, and getting you ready for life forever with Him.

King David gave us Psalm 139, his life was full of a deep knowledge and understanding of HOW the LORD directed his steps.

Psalm 139:1-6 (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.

God Knows Us Intimately (vv. 1-6)

The verb “searched” means “to examine with great pain and care.” The Jewish people used this word to describe digging deep into a mine, exploring a land, and investigating a legal case.

Your friends only see the outside, but the LORD God sees your heart, and you can’t deceive Him.

Some folks in the Bible tried to deceive God:

  • Adam and Eve tried it (Gen. 3:7-24),
  • Cain tried it (Gen. 4:1-15),
  • and even David tried it (2 Sam. 11-12),
  • Ananias and Sappheria tried it too (Acts 5:1-11).

What do we discover from them? What they all discovered, that God knew all about them. He knew what they’d done and even how they’d tried to cover it up. We cannot HIDE from God. He searches and sees the HEART. King David knew this from bitter experience and Divine Grace and forgiveness.

Understand” in verse 2 means “to distinguish and discern with insight”. My friends, God’s not just making notes about your life, He’s not keeping a dossier if you confess your sins and get cleaned up, but be assured of this, if you don’t get right with God, then He is going to bring out all the records of your life.

Verse 3: “You are familiar with all my ways” He knows our ways, where we go, when we go, how we go and why we go. The habits, the little things that can either help or hinder our walk with Him.  The fact that God knows us so intimately and completely is revealed in verses 1, 2, 4, 14, and 23.

These verses reveal God’s DEEP KNOWLEDGE about EVERYTHING in our lives:

  • He knows our actions,
  • He knows our locations,
  • He knows our thoughts and words,
  • He knows our ways, and our motives.

He knows more about you than your Mobile Phone does. You know they are able to keep track of where you’ve been down to  the inch, but God’s knowledge is even more, He not only knows where you’ve been, but what you’ve been thinking when you are there.

The Eyes of the LORD (2 Chronicles 16:9).

“All things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account” (Heb. 4:13, nkjv).

But even more, He knows what is best for us and does all He can to guide us to go His way.

Psalm 139:5  “You hem me in: behind and before; you have laid your hand upon me.”

He hems us in behind and before and puts His hand on us to give us peace, to show us His way and to direct our steps.

That’s an awesome thought, God wants us to allow Him to show us the way.

The word translated “beset” (kjv) or “enclosed” (nasb) means “to guard a valuable object,”

God’s Guarding YOU!

So my friends, God’s all knowing, all encompassing knowledge and guidance are for your protection.

How should we respond to that?

Like King David, we should TRUST Him completely with every aspect of our lives.

In the UK: We’re all going to VOTE today on the EU Referendum, no matter how you feel or how you VOTE, God is in ultimate control.

Don’t WORRY… PRAY (first) … TRUST… VOTE: Let the LORD guide you to the right decision today.

Be blessed today,

Don.

P.S. The other day Karamoko my grandson came back into the lounge from the garden to get a spade. He was hiding his hand behind his back. Karamoko is only 2 1/2 years old, but is already showing signs of being deceitful. I said, “What have you been doing in the garden?” He said, “Nothing” hiding his hand even more… It was so funny and a dead give-away. His hands were black from playing in the mud, he knew that he shouldn’t be playing in the mud because he’s been told not to touch it a few times. But Karamoko just loves digging in the dirt…

We cannot HIDE from God.

KNOWING GOD PERSONALLY

Psalm 139: Part 1: God Knows Me Intimately.

Psalm 139: Part 2: God Will NEVER Let Go of My Hand.

Psalm 139: Part 3: God Made Me Wonderfully

 

 

The LAW and The Promises of God.

Christians are set free from sin and the law through faith in Jesus.

Daily Spirit & Word: 756: The Law and The Promise.

The Law was our overseer, instructor and tutor, until FAITH came through Jesus Christ.

FREEDOM IN CHRIST JESUS.

Good morning my friends, today I’ve been reading in the Bible about an Tutor / Instructor / Schoolmaster, a person who’s been “put in charge” of children. Imagine being held captive by a stern guardian. Like being locked up in a School with a Schoolmaster: Telling you to do stuff that’s beyond your ability to do. For most people that would be hell. I’d hate being told to do something, and being shouted at, because I can’t do it. That’s what the LAW of God is like: A stern schoolmaster, shouting out Ten Commandments, that we just can’t keep, because we’re SLAVES to sin. Well, there’s good news. No, I’ll go even further, GREAT NEWS. There’s great news because we can be set free to live according to God’s Holy Standards through FAITH in Christ Jesus. HOW?

But, as we’ll see HOW today, The Schoolmaster the Bible is talking about is God’s LAW (Summarised in the Ten Commandments). The function / purpose of God’s Law was to look after us and show us God’s standard until Christ should come and give us something better to oversee us: Faith in Jesus opens us up to a much better guide than the written law; the indwelling Holy Spirit, who reveals God’s way, through our Conscience. Awesome!

Romans 3:19-20 (NIV)
19 Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be silenced and the whole world held accountable to God. 20 Therefore no-one will be declared righteous in his sight by observing the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of sin.

Galatians 3:19-25 (NIV)
19 What, then, was the purpose of the law? It was added because of transgressions until the Seed (Jesus Christ) to whom the promise referred had come. The law was put into effect through angels by a mediator (Moses). 20 A mediator, however, does not represent just one party; but God is one. 21 Is the law, therefore, opposed to the promises of God? Absolutely not! For if a law had been given that could impart life, then righteousness would certainly have come by the law. 22 But the Scripture declares that the whole world is a prisoner of sin, so that what was promised, being given through faith in Jesus Christ, might be given to those who believe. 23 Before this faith came, we were held prisoners by the law, locked up until faith should be revealed. 24 So the law was put in charge (Paidagogos: Tutor, Instructor, Schoolmaster) to lead us to Christ that we might be justified by faith. 25 Now that faith has come, we are no longer under the supervision of the law.

Once we get FAITH: To believe and put our trust in Jesus for our Salvation, we are SET FREE from the PRISON of the LAW: from the instruction / oversight of the Law of God. We are under a NEW Tutor: The Holy Spirit. He will guide us and show us God’s ways. He’ll never contradict God’s Law, but will impart the power to live according to it in FREEDOM.

 

Live in the Spirit.

What is the purpose of the Law?

Galatians 3:19-25 (NIV)
19  What, then, was the purpose of the law? It was added because of transgressions until the Seed (Jesus Christ) to whom the promise referred had come. The law was put into effect through angels by a mediator.
20  A mediator, however, does not represent just one party; but God is one.
21  Is the law, therefore, opposed to the promises of God? Absolutely not! For if a law had been given that could impart life, then righteousness would certainly have come by the law. (But it couldn’t impart life, nor did it have any power to make us righteous, it was only added because of transgressions / sin).
22  But the Scripture declares that the whole world is a prisoner of sin, so that what was promised, being given through faith in Jesus Christ, might be given to those who believe.
23  Before this faith came, we were held prisoners by the law, locked up until faith should be revealed.
24  So the law was put in charge (paidagogos: tutor / schoolmaster /instructor) to lead us to Christ that we might be justified by faith.
25  Now that faith has come, we are no longer under the supervision of the law.

The Key Verse: Galatians 3:22 “But the Scripture declares that the whole world is a prisoner of sin…”

What an amazing statement in the Bible: The WHOLE WORLD (Every single soul) is a PRISONER OF SIN, until they are SET FREE by faith in Jesus Christ.

So the reason God has given us the Law (10 Commandments) is so that we can KNOW (Be instructed by the Schoolmaster: the Law) and how we can be SET FREE through FAITH in Jesus Christ.

In Verse 24 “So the law was put in charge to lead us to Christ that we might be justified by faith.”

(We don’t have an equivalent English word for the term translated here, “Put in Charge”. The Greek word is “paidagogos” The KJV translates it as “Schoolmaster”, but the Greek word is referring to a Servant in a rich household who looked after and educated a child until the child was educated enough to go onto further education away from home at a school: Rather than “Put in Charge” NIV, I think “Schoolmaster” is a more accurate translation. In recent history in the UK the very rich had household Schoolmasters / Tutors who’d educate young children until they could attend school). So the LAW was only put in charge of us, until faith came along, that faith is in Christ Jesus, and once we’ve got that faith, we are no longer under the care, supervision and instruction of the Law.

Interestingly we have English words that a so similar to this Greek word:  paidagogos: Paediatrician, Paediatric: The care and treatment by a Specialist “Called a Paediatrician” for infants and children.

WOWzer! The LAW (Summarised in the Ten Commandments) was give because of Sin and Transgression.

Does the Bible tell us that in another place? It’s good to see if this teaching is consistent with the rest of Scripture.

Romans 3:19-20 (NIV)
19  Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be silenced and the whole world held accountable to God. 20  Therefore no-one will be declared righteous in his sight by observing the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of sin.

WOW: It does. In Romans 3:19 we see it again, “it says to those who are ‘under’ the law” (Under: Under the Paidagogos (care and supervision) of the Law).

  • We are under the law: Held prisoner by the law: Until FAITH comes to our hearts to set us free.
  • We cannot be SAVED by trying our best.
  • We cannot be SAVED by trying to live according to the Law or the Ten Commandments.
  • All that effort will show us is that we cannot be good enough for God. We can’t stop SINNING until we’re set FREE from the Slavery to sin. Sin is our master until we’re set free by Jesus Christ, through Faith in Jesus Christ.

A MIRROR: When you get up in the morning, you look at your face in the mirror, sometimes to remove any dirt or smears. Make sure you wash the toothpaste off 🙂 The Bible like the Mirror: We look into the Commandments of God and we see that we are dirty sinners, we’ve all broken God’s Holy Standard. However, the mirror can’t clean your face, it only shows you the dirt. The LAW cannot clean away your sins, it only shows you the condition of your heart. The Sin Within. Nothing you can do can remove those stains of sin. No amount of effort will wash your soul clean from sin. No amount of sorrow for sin (we should be sorry), but sorrow itself cannot remove sin. Some people say to me “I say sorry to God for my sin”. That’s good, you should be sorry, but being sorry will not remove your sin. Only DEATH will remove your sin. Jesus died so that you don’t have to.

1 Peter 3:18 (NIV) “For Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive by the Spirit,” i.e. the righteous Jesus died for the unrighteous me / you. We were sinners and Jesus died in our place upon the Cross.

The LAW was given so that we could see our need for Jesus.

Will you put your faith and trust in Jesus Christ today? Stop trying to be good enough in your own strength and trust in the goodness / righteousness of Jesus Christ. Once you believe the Gospel, the Good News, you will be SAVED. Put your faith and trust in Jesus alone for your own Salvation from Sin. Nothing else will ever remove the stain of sin, revealed by the Ten Commandments and your guilty conscience can be set free by Jesus. Awesome.

Repent and Believe the Good News.

The PROMISE: The promises of God are better than the Law of God: We are able to be righteous through faith in Jesus Christ, a righteousness that couldn’t ever be possible by trying to keep God’s law. Thank the LORD for His awesome promises. Thank the LORD for Jesus Christ who has set us FREE. Amen.

My friends, have you been set FREE?

Don.

#FantasticFriday #GoodNews #GreatNews #BreakingNews #Faith #Jesus #Christian #Teaching #Law #Commandments #Promise #LawandPromise

 

Getting God’s Direction In Life

How to get the LORD'S Direction in LIFE. Knowing God's Will.

Daily Spirit & Word: 749: How to GET The LORD’S Direction in Life.

How the LORD Directs Our Paths.

There are FOUR CONDITIONS (at least) that must be followed.

Proverbs 3:5-6 (ESV)
5  Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.
6  In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.
Good morning my friends, everybody loves Proverbs 3:5-6 don’t they? Especially if you’ve been a Christian and seen how true the LORD’S promises are. However, there’s so much more that most Christians are missing out on, if only we’d read these verses in CONTEXT.

For me the key verses in the first half of chapter 3 of Proverbs are verses 5-6, because this is a promise that the LORD’S people have often claimed as they have sought His direction for their lives. It’s one that I’ve used often and found it to be TRUE. And this promise has never failed me, but only I discovered that it’s only really true if all of the LORD’S conditions for success have been followed.

He sets out these conditions in the other 10 verses.  Because when we learn obedience to His precepts and commands we’ll see Him move with POWER in our lives. Not just once but all the time. It’s because our loving obedience in response to His LOVE prepares us to receive and enjoy all that He has planned and prepared for us.

Some people say “God’s LOVE is UN-CONDITIONAL” well that’s only partially true. It’s TRUE in one sense, because God is LOVE and He’s always loving, but it’s NOT true if we want to EXPERIENCE that love down here upon the Earth. To experience God’s LOVE then we’ve got to exercise FAITH, because without FAITH it is impossible to please God or experience His LOVE for us.

Let’s look at these FOUR Conditions (Proverbs 3:1-12).

1) Get God’s Guidance From His WORD:

The first condition for receiving God’s guidance is that we learn God’s truth (vv. 1-4).

Proverbs 3:1-4 (ESV)
1  My son, do not forget my teaching, but let your heart keep my commandments,
2  for length of days and years of life and peace they will add to you.
3  Let not steadfast love and faithfulness forsake you; bind them around your neck; write them on the tablet of your heart.
4  So you will find favour and good success in the sight of God and man.

Look at what we get when we don’t forget God’s Commandments: length of days, years of life, favour and good success. BUT the conditions are keeping them, loving them, being faithful to them and yielding to them.

The will of God is revealed in the Word of God (Col. 1:9-10), and the only way to know His will is to study His Word and obey it. By receiving the Word within our hearts, we experience growth in godly character so that mercy and truth (“love and faithfulness,” niv) become beautiful ornaments in our lives (Prov. 3:3; 1:9). It isn’t enough for believers to carry the Bible in their hands; they must let the Holy Spirit write it on their hearts (Proverbs 3:3; 7:3; 2 Cor. 3:1-3). Obedience to the Word of God can add years to your life and life to your years. Notice in verse 2: It tells us it can add LENGTH OF DAYS: Do you ever feel there are not enough hours in the day? I do, but when I’m living God’s way, there just seems to be so much more time available to us. It’s amazing this TRUTH, He’ll add hours to our day, we’ll HAVE more time.

I’m not boasting, but I get up extra early to be with the LORD in His Word, and the sacrifice of pillow-time, means I can add hours to my day. I do get tired half-way through the day, but I’ve always got tired half-way through the day 🙂 It’s not because I’m getting up to be in the Word with the LORD. Suddenly, you’ll find you can get so much more done with Jesus, when you spend time with Him. But you’ll only experience all these promises when you begin to be obedient to what He’s telling you as you read and study His Word. That leads me onto the second of God’s conditions for direction in life.

2) OBEDIENCE TO GOD’S WILL:

Proverbs 3:5-8 (ESV)
5  Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.
6  In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.
7  Be not wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD, and turn away from evil.
8  It will be healing to your flesh and refreshment to your bones.

It’s so easy to miss out on God’s promises in verses 5 and 6 above, but we must remember the CONTEXT. Because a verse or two, taken out of context, become a pre-text or pretense. We’ll pretend the LORD is directing our path, we’ll fool ourselves that God is directing our path. But we must remember: Word First, TRUST second and Obedience third.

Learning NOT to DEPEND on your own understanding is so HARD. It goes against human logic, but yields much better results.

Turn AWAY from EVIL: It’s like saying NO to your flesh. We’re all tempted in many ways, but it’s when we finally say “NO” to our flesh that we’ll begin to see God’s POWER breaking through, but we can’t do it in our own strength. Turning away from EVIL is real repentance. Evil is anything that goes against God’s revealed will.

“He shall direct your paths” (v. 6, nkjv) is the promise, but the fulfillment of that promise is implied in our obedience to the Lord. We must trust Him with all our heart and obey Him in all our ways. That means total commitment to Him (Rom. 12:1-2). The word translated “trust” in verse 5 means “to lie helpless, face-down.” (i.e. to Prostrate oneself). It pictures a servant waiting for the master’s command in readiness to obey, or a defeated soldier yielding himself to the conquering general, or the way people often prostrated themselves before an visitation from an Angel from Heaven.

So we could say, “Lie face-down in the dirt before the LORD (Trust) and do not lean (depend) upon your own understanding.”

The danger, of course, is that we lean on our own understanding or experience and by doing so, we will miss God’s will and direction. I’ve done that so many times. We get PRESUMPTUOUS, because something has worked in the past we assume that it’s always going to work, but you can’t get God in a box, He’s not a genie that you rub a certain way, like Aladin’s Lamp, and He performs for you. No, God’s a real person, with feelings and desires. He’s revealed His strongest desire to us and that is that we LIVE in an ongoing relationship and dialogue with Himself.

What causes most problems in Marriage? Presumption, because we think we know what our partner wants. Instead of talking things through together we just assume that we know, but watch out, when you get it wrong, which I’ve done so many times in our 37 years of marriage and bear the scars. LOL. I’ve learned the hard way, both in marriage and with the LORD.

NOTE: We’re NOT ROBOTS: This warning doesn’t suggest the LORD’S chosen people turn off their brains or ignore their own inbuilt intelligence and common sense. It simply cautions us not to depend on our own worldly wisdom and experience or the wisdom and experience of others. God treats each one of us as individuals, what’s right for one person may not be right for everyone. God has a plan for you as an individual. Just because your friend jumped out of a plane, doesn’t mean God wants you to do it.  Abraham relied on his own wisdom and past experience when he went to Egypt (Gen. 12:10-20) and so did Joshua when he attacked the little town of Ai (Josh. 7). When we become “wise in [our] own eyes” (Prov. 3:7), then we’re heading for trouble. We become presumptuous and run ahead of the LORD.

3) GIVING TO THE LORD

The third condition to getting God’s Direction (Prov 3:5-6) is that we Share God’s blessings (Prov 3:9-10)

Proverbs 3:9-10 (ESV)
9  Honour the LORD with your wealth and with the firstfruits of all your produce;
10  then your barns will be filled with plenty, and your vats will be bursting with wine.

WOWzer! Look at these amazing promises: Barns filled with plenty; Vats bursting with wine… i.e. full bank accounts, more than enough to share with others.

Giving then, is the third condition we must meet if we want God to direct our paths.

You’ve heard the expression, “There’s no such thing as a FREE lunch”… Well it’s true in some ways with God. It’s going to be costly to see God’s direction, but be warned, you cannot PURCHASE God’s will or direction. It’s simply a loving and trusting response to God’s goodness towards you, but when you become like HIM: i.e. Generous! The floodgates of Heaven really are opened up to you.

In the Christian life, there’s no such thing as “spiritual” and “physical”, because we KNOW that everything comes from God and belongs to God.

When you come to Jesus EVERYTHING comes under His Kingdom reign.

In the Old Covenant Jews brought the Lord the firstlings of their flocks (Ex. 13:1-2) and the firstfruits of their fields (Lev. 23:9-14), and in this way they acknowledged His goodness, provision, grace and mercy and His Sovereignty. The New Testament parallel is seen in Matthew 6:33.

Read it in CONTEXT though;

Matthew 6:25-34 (ESV)
25  “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?
26  Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?
27  And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?
28  And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin,
29  yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.
30  But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?
31  Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’
32  For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all.
33  But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.
34  “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.

Be assured of this my friends, if we don’t faithfully give to the Lord, then we don’t really trust in the Lord. It took me years before I finally SAW THIS TRUTH in God’s Word. I was definitely one of the most sceptical givers in God’s Kingdom Family 🙂 I hated the thought of parting with my hard-earned cash and just giving it away. After all, I could easily spend it on family things or make my own life better. However, the LORD has shown me over many years of walking with Him, that it’s MUCH, MUCH better to be like He is: Generous and FREE with all that He’s given to me. The more I give, the more I receive. Not just in monetary return, but in blessings from Heaven.

If we don’t give to the LORD, then we’re NOT really TRUSTING in Him

Of course, our tithes and offerings aren’t “payment” for His blessings; rather, they’re evidence of our love, faith, obedience and trust in Him. He’s been prompting all of us to become like Himself since we started following Jesus. To be open-handed and generous, just like Jesus. To be open-hearted and kind, just like Jesus.

Christian industrialist R. G. LeTourneau used to say, “If you give because it pays, it won’t pay.”

So Christians don’t give to the LORD to get things out of Him, we give because it’s what He’s like. The closer we come to Jesus, the more like Jesus we become.

Giving is just a way of preparing our hearts for what God wants to say to us and do for us. “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matt. 6:21).

4) God Disciplines The ONES He LOVES.

Our fourth responsibility is to submit to God’s Discipline (Prov. 3:11-12).

Responsibility = Response and Ability: He’ll give the ability once we decide in our hearts to respond.

God’s Discipline of His Chosen People is just a part of God’s plan to help His sons and daughters grow to be mature and godly (like Himself) in character (Heb. 12:1-11). God disciplines us, not as a judge punishes a criminal, but as a parent disciplines a child. Be assured that when the LORD disciplines you, He’s doing it because He LOVES YOU! He acts in love and His purpose is that we might become “partakers of His holiness” (Heb. 12:10). Sometimes He disciplines because we have rebelled and need to repent; other times He disciplines us to keep us from sinning and to prepare us for His special blessing. No matter how much the experience hurts us, it will never harm us, because God always disciplines us in love (Deut. 8:2-5).

One of my most bitter regrets as a parent are the times I’ve shouted at my kids in anger. I’ve not disciplined them as I should have done, I left it too long before telling them, then got too angry and lashed out with my tongue. Instead, I could have directed them with loving, gentle and kind discipline, like the LORD has done with me countless times. Even though we love our children, God loves all His chosen children even more than we do; so He disciplines those He loves. (read John 15: He is the Gardener who prunes).

We learn from our mistakes don’t we, I hope we do, because I know the LORD has changed my character so much from what it used to be. Some would say, “That’s just the mellowing of age”… I don’t think so, because, it’s when we REASON together with the LORD, He gently shows us our weaknesses and give us the grace and power to overcome them. He really does discipline the ones He loves.

Conclusion:

If you want to go God’s way, take Proverbs 3:5-6 to heart, but always bear in mind the context in which the verses come from and you’ll never go wrong in life. Fulfill all of God’s conditions for His direction;

1) Get into God’s Word: Know it and do it.

2) Obey God’s Word: Trust and Obey. There’s no other way, to be happy in Jesus, but to TRUST and OBEY.

3) GIVE LIKE JESUS: Being generous and obedient in your giving. Not just 10%, it’s ALL His.

4) LOVE God’s Discipline: He’s just loving you like a good parent would. He’s your loving Heavenly Father.

When we do all that, then we can be completely assured that God will direct our paths. He’ll show or reveal the SECRETS of the KINGDOM.

Prayer: Lord, I can see so clearly now from Your Word that there are clear and simple conditions for blessings and success in Your Kingdom Family. Today I pray that you’ll help me to listen to Your Word, Obey what I know and submit to Your direction. Give me the will to obey and the Heart to become more like You. Amen.

Be blessed in following, loving and serving Jesus today,

Don.

 

Go in PEACE to LOVE and Serve The LORD

don't give in to FEAR, LOVE the Egyptian people, travel with Jesus

Daily Spirit & Word: 748: Egypt Air Crash.

Go in PEACE to LOVE and SERVE The LORD.

Trust IN the LORD.

Proverbs 3:5-6 (NIV)
5  Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;
6  in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.

Good morning my friends, the day after tragedy strikes is never really a good one, because we can all feel something for those who’ve lost loved ones. We try and put ourselves in their shoes, to think how we’d be feeling right now if someone precious to us was aboard that plane. When you see on the News mothers, husbands and wives waiting anxiously for any sign of hope, then all hopes are dashed. It’s a horrific tragedy. Today I’m asking the LORD to bring comfort, strength and hope into their hearts.

Asked if he could rule out terrorist involvement, the Egyptian premier told reporters: “We cannot exclude anything at this time or confirm anything. All the search operations must be concluded so we can know the cause.”

French President Francois Hollande also said the cause was unknown. “No hypothesis can be ruled out, nor can any be favoured over another.”

At this moment in time, we just don’t know what happened to the plane. Pray for miracles for those who anxiously await news.

One commentator has said, “It’s the end of Egypt’s Tourism industry”… I don’t think so. Egypt is such a special place in the hearts of millions of people all over the world, and no matter what the News says, there are countless millions of nice, ordinary, decent, loving, gentle and humble families living in Egypt. They’ll give you are warm welcome and extend the hand of friendship.

Pessimism is a general disposition to look on the dark side and to expect the worst in all things. It’s a kind of despair, disposition or temperament and our News reporters tend to dwell too much on this dark side.

Yes our heads might tell us, “It’s dangerous to go to Egypt”, but don’t listen to your head, listen to your heart. Someone said once, “A good rule for going through life is to keep the heart a little softer than the head. ” Be kind-hearted and true; LOVE covers over a multitude of sin.

Proverbs 3:5-6 (NIV)
5  Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;
6  in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.

My son, Richard, travels to many places in the world, places most ordinary folks would never go; Jordan, Cuba, Egypt, Russia, Mekong River, Belize Jungles, etc… He loves it, he meets the ordinary folks, learns about their cuisine, brings back recipes and shares with his friends his experience of those peoples. We all know there are horrible people who want to do terrible things, but let us be the ones who’ll not be governed by FEAR.

I know from my own travels in the Royal Navy and holidays, that there are always kind-hearted folks in every culture, in fact they are the majority. In Northern Ireland at the height of the ‘troubles’, I went on an evangelistic mission. During that mission we met people from both the Catholic and Protestant communities, they were warm, welcoming, kind, generous and friendly.  So don’t be Pessimistic, don’t give into fear, trust in the LORD, let Him direct your paths and travel with His Heavenly Security.

Let’s pray for those who’ve suffered tragedy and lost loved ones, let’s pray for Egypt and for the PEACE and JUSTICE in that land, but let’s also determine in our hearts that we’ll never cut them off from our friendship and love. Egypt has been and always will be of historical interest to the world, it’s people are just like you and me, most of them, ordinary hard-working, decent folks.

Proverbs 3:5-6 (NIV)
5  Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;
6  in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.

It’s my hope and prayer that you will all have an AWESOME weekend. Stay close to the Lord Jesus and let His peace rule in your hearts today. Amen.

Don.

 

They ALL Need Jesus

They ALL Need Jesus. He's calling all people to himself

Daily Spirit & Word: 747: They ALL Need Jesus.

Doing the IMPOSSIBLE with Jesus.

Read to the End Today, there’s a funny story to encourage you.

Good morning my friends, do you remember me telling you about Emma? She became a follower of Jesus last Tuesday, got baptised on Sunday and came out on the streets last night to share the Gospel with us. Emma admits she doesn’t know a lot, but is filled with the desire to lead others to Jesus to experience His promise of what she has received.

When you get to Heaven Jesus is not going to ask if you attended church, worshipped regularly, prayed every day or read your Bible, He’s going to hold you to account for your obedience to His teachings. Emma doesn’t know much, but she knows enough to know that Jesus wants us to bring everyone to Him and last night, fearful, trembling and unsure, she began to really walk in that obedience. You should have seen her face when she came back, she was beaming.

What was great about last night? There was a wonderful TEAM spirit, we split into twos and one group of three. Some went up-town, others went down-town. We’ve been praying slightly differently as I shared a few weeks ago. We’re not asking God to come with us, because we KNOW Jesus is with us, we just thank Him for His PROMISES that when we go in obedience to His Commands that He’ll be with us. We’re not asking for the POWER of the Holy Spirit as much as thanking Him for His PROMISE to empower us and equip us. Oh yes we cry out for the Holy Spirit to work in the lives of those He’s pulling to Jesus and to lead us to the ones He’s already been tugging at their hearts.

Beverley and I were paired together. The first man Bev and I bumped into, David, it was strange, because he said a few times, “This is deep, I don’t know why I’m pouring my heart out to you, I feel like you are my counsellors”. But we knew, because we’d been praying the LORD would be drawing them.   He said, “I never share this with anyone, but I feel I want to with you” He told us about how he was a bad man, was into trouble all the time, got into fights etc, but when his baby came, he knew his life must change, but it didn’t. Then his baby died at 18 months old. His precious baby’s death broke his heart and David began to changed his ways, it was a wake up call. I said, “David, God’s calling you to himself”. You see, David was already humble, he knew he’d sinned against God, but didn’t know about God’s offer of New Life”…

We had a few short conversations with some other folks, but then we got chatting with another young man, this time he told us; “I used to go to church, got baptised as a baby, attended Sunday School, went to a Church School and got confirmed, but it meant nothing to me”… I said, “Do you think you are good enough to get into Heaven when you die?”… He said, “I hope so”. He believed in Heaven, God and Sin and Hell. We began to go through the Commandments and the surprise on his face was evident, he said, “That means no one is good enough to get into Heaven, because we’ve all fallen short of God’s holy standard”. WOWzer! He got it, but still I pushed his understanding a bit more. “Do you know what God has done so that nobody needs to end up in Hell?” He said, “Yes, Jesus, He died upon the Cross to save us from our sins”… I said, “How do you get that forgiveness?” He said “Ask God to forgive you” I said, “Partially, but the Bible tells us we must; Believe that Jesus died for our own sins, those nails being hammered into his hands were for our lies, theft, lust and hatred of others, then we must repent of those sins and receive Jesus as our Lord and Saviour”. He said, “That makes sense”… I shared what it means to actually trust in Jesus, i.e. You wouldn’t jump out of a plane without a parachute would you? No you’d put the parachute on, it’s the same with Jesus, just believing that He can save you is not enough, you’ve got to actually trust in Him and receive Him by faith. I gave him my calling care, and we’re going to meet up for a coffee in Costa (or somewhere 🙂 ) to talk about it a bit more about Jesus.

Ben and Judy have opened my eyes to see that just sharing the Gospel of making Converts is not enough: Jesus didn’t call us to make ‘converts’ but to grow Disciples, followers of Jesus and to see that people begin to be obedient to what they know, as soon as possible after being converted.

But long before Ben and Judy came, the LORD had already been working on my own heart about this, because we’ve been preaching through the Gospel of Mark. I’d already seen that Jesus called people, demonstrated the Kingdom and then sent them out, almost immediately after calling them to follow himself, then when they came back, they were amazed that when they used Jesus’ name, even the Demons submitted to them. However, this surprised me, listen to what Jesus said to them (read it out loud my friends).

Luke 10:1-24 (NIV)
1 After this the Lord appointed seventy-two others and sent them two by two ahead of him to every town and place where he was about to go.
2  He told them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.
3  Go! I am sending you out like lambs among wolves.
4  Do not take a purse or bag or sandals; and do not greet anyone on the road.
5  “When you enter a house, first say, ‘Peace to this house.’
6  If a man of peace is there, your peace will rest on him; if not, it will return to you.
7  Stay in that house, eating and drinking whatever they give you, for the worker deserves his wages. Do not move around from house to house.
8  “When you enter a town and are welcomed, eat what is set before you.
9  Heal the sick who are there and tell them, ‘The kingdom of God is near you.’
10  But when you enter a town and are not welcomed, go into its streets and say,
11  ‘Even the dust of your town that sticks to our feet we wipe off against you. Yet be sure of this: The kingdom of God is near.’
12  I tell you, it will be more bearable on that day for Sodom than for that town.
13  “Woe to you, Korazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the miracles that were performed in you had been performed in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago, sitting in sackcloth and ashes.
14  But it will be more bearable for Tyre and Sidon at the judgment than for you.
15  And you, Capernaum, will you be lifted up to the skies? No, you will go down to the depths.
16  “He who listens to you listens to me; he who rejects you rejects me; but he who rejects me rejects him who sent me.”
17  The seventy-two returned with joy and said, “Lord, even the demons submit to us in your name.”
18  He replied, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven.
19  I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you.
20  However, do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.”
21  At that time Jesus, full of joy through the Holy Spirit, said, “I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children. Yes, Father, for this was your good pleasure.
22  “All things have been committed to me by my Father. No-one knows who the Son is except the Father, and no-one knows who the Father is except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.”
23  Then he turned to his disciples and said privately, “Blessed are the eyes that see what you see.
24  For I tell you that many prophets and kings wanted to see what you see but did not see it, and to hear what you hear but did not hear it.”

Can you see now why we encouraged Emma to come out with us last night?

Emma is not ‘wise or learned’ she was a very recent convert, much like the 72 that Jesus sent out above, but they’d seen enough, they knew enough and they went out in obedience and returned with great JOY. Why?

  • Because all the things that Jesus had told them were TRUE (Jesus only ever spoke the TRUTH, Jesus is “The way, and the Truth and the Life” John 14:6)
  • Because they’d seen how the KINGDOM of God was near when they shared the Good News about the Kingdom. We’ll see that too, but only when we’re obedient and begin to share the Kingdom, the Good News of Jesus.
  • Because “even the demons submit to us in your name”… They’d seen the battle head-on and the power of the Kingdom to subdue the demonic. You’ll see that too, but only when you go out in obedience to Jesus Kingdom Commands.

We too can rejoice, but we should rejoice much more, that because we’ve trusted in Jesus Christ for forgiveness and salvation, that our names are now written in Heaven.

My friends, Jesus is working in Emma’s life, She’s seeing the Kingdom Power and she’s only one week old as a Christian. God is revealing it to babes in Christ. It’s not about learning more or knowing more about God, the Bible etc, it’s about being obedient to what we know already. That’s what’s been challenging me lately, because I know so much, but I’ve discovered just how disobedient I’ve been to what I know. Let’s get more of a desire to do what Jesus told us to do, to learn His teachings and to do them.

Bev and I paired up last night, and she and I saw the Kingdom Power to bring conviction, encouragement and enlighten people in the darkness. It’s when we share what we know, that we’ll see the Kingdom Come. Let’s get going and see a mighty move of God in London, the UK, the world. Amen! “Thy Kingdom Come”….Amen.

Luke 10:23-24 (NIV) Jesus said “…. Blessed are the eyes that see what you see. For I tell you that many prophets and kings wanted to see what you see but did not see it, and to hear what you hear but did not hear it.”

Whoever has ears to hear what the Spirit is saying to the church, let them hear. Amen.

Have an awesome day,

Don.

P.S. I must share a funny story: On Tuesday we had a Pastor’s Meeting in West Norwood: Five of us met to discuss the vision for an event in St Luke’s Gardens on Saturday 16th July, we’ve been led to call it; “Oh Happy Day”. But after the meeting I was walking down the road with Dennis, the Pastor of World Wide Mission Fellowship. He was on the phone to a young man. When he finished his call he said to me, “I’m meeting a young man in a minute, will you ask him “How is Jesus the Lord?”” I said, “OK Dennis, I will” but just at that moment I spotted a huge man, he’s massive, built like an OX, I said, “Dennis, you say the same thing to him”… Dennis just looked at me…he said, “No, you share with that one” I did, I said, “Do you know Jesus is Lord?” … The huge man was Dave from our fellowship, Dennis and I laughed and laughed. You see, it’s wanting to be obedient, that’s what counts. Afterwards, we met the young man, his name was David too. Is the LORD calling the DAVIDS in our Community?

Are you prepared to SHARE Jesus with ANYONE? Don’t go by appearances, don’t go by what a person looks like, because the LORD doesn’t look at the outward appearances, He looks at the HEART. He’s calling ALL people to himself. If we just looked at the outward appearance we’d miss the people the Lord wants us to talk with. If someone is dressed in a smart suit, looks nice and clean, they need Jesus just as much as a man dressed in shabby clothing. All have fallen short of God’s Holy Standards. All need to come to repentance. All need a Saviour from Hell. No my friends, don’t look at how big they are or how small they are, how smart or intelligent a person appears to be, God’s calling EVERYONE into His Kingdom family, they all need Jesus.

You can do the IMPOSSIBLE with Jesus: Peter walked on water with Jesus.

Jesus said, “Apart from me you can do NOTHING”… i.e. everything we try and do, that doesn’t involve Jesus, is NOTHING.

However, Jesus also said, “You will do even greater things”…. Awesome!

P.P.S. Please pray for our West Norwood: “Oh Happy Day”, it’s coming on Saturday 16th July in St Luke’s Gardens. An event for the whole family, Christians united together to share the GREAT things God is doing in this world today. There will be Bands, Choirs, Dancing, Singing, Stalls with Photography, Face-Painting, Exercise (for every ability Kingdom Stretch), Food stalls, Books, Booklets, etc etc… Come to “Oh Happy Day” St Luke’s Gardens, West Norwood. Saturday 16th July. EVERYONE is WELCOME.

 

A Mighty Power Faith Filled Factory

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

Daily Spirit & Word: 745: Supernatural Natural Devotion

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

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

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

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

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

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

They Devoted Themselves:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

How To BE CREATIVE: in getting fellowship more regularly:

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

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

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

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

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

Give An Answer and An Invitation.

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

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

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

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

Don.