He’ll NEVER Let Go of Your Hand.

once you come to Jesus, He'll never let you go.

Daily Spirit & Word 762: 

He’ll NEVER Let Go of Your Hand.

God Is EVERYWHERE.
Part 2: God Is Always With You: You Can’t Get Away From Him (Psalm 139:7-12).
 
Good morning my friends, the title today begs the question, “Why would anyone want to get away from God?”
I don’t know about you, but there have been times in my life since I began following Jesus as my Lord and Saviour, that I’ve wanted to try and hide from God. I know that sounds strange, but bear with me. It has been when I know that I’ve sinned and just like Adam and Eve, I’ve wanted to try and cover it up, not face responsibility for it, deny it, blame someone or something else for doing it. But King David reveals an astonishing truth in these few verses from the 139th Psalm, there is nowhere we can ever go in all Creation to get away and hide from the LORD.

YOU CAN’T GET AWAY FROM GOD

Psalm 139:7-12 (NIV)
7  Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence?
8  If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
9  If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea,
10  even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast.
11  If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me and the light become night around me,”
12  even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you.
 You see my friends, King David has done what we’ve all tried to do, to HIDE his sin from the LORD. He discovered the HARD WAY that nothing is hidden from the eyes of the all seeing, all knowing and ever present LORD of Creation.

However, it is a NATURAL tendency to try and HIDE from God.

God has given every human being a CONSCIENCE: The conscience is like an implant that God has put within the human soul, so that we KNOW when we’re about to do something wrong.
REVERSING SENSORS: Modern Cars have proximity sensors, they tell you with an alarm when you are getting too close to another car or a wall or some obstruction. The beep get louder and more frequent the closer you get to the car behind when you’re parking. It’s an amazing little invention, it’s saved my precious car many times. Those little sensors warn of imminent danger.
So does your CONSCIENCE: Con means with and Science means knowledge. When we sin we do it with knowledge, because our God given con-science is sounding a warning of imminent danger. It’s telling you, “You are about to cross over the line, you are going the wrong way, you are about to SIN”…. It gets louder the closer we get to actually sinning. However, the Conscience can be ignored and once we’ve sinned a few times, it gets even easier to ignore, until the time when we can barely detect it’s alarm. (Note: If you are feeling guilty because of some sin, then there’s no need to worry, because your CONSCIENCE is working fine, just listen to it and obey it).
So, when we SIN we know it. When we SIN we try to hide it from God. But God KNOWS… What’s amazing is that God KNOWS and still LOVES you.
He’s still longing to reach out and save and grab hold of you and guide you back into His best ways.
Every WAY we try to HIDE from God is FUTILE:
Psalm 139:11-12
11  If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me and the light become night around me,”
12  even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you.
Because He’s EVERYWHERE, can SEE EVERYTHING, even in the deepest darkness, it’s like the bright light of noonday to HIM.  
My friends, God wants to walk with us and talk with us and guide us, because His plans for our lives are the very best. When you begin to walk with Jesus, His promise is that He’ll never loose any of those that He’s saved. He’ll never let go of your hand. He wants to save you and be with you forever.

Why should we want to run away and hide?

  • Adam and Eve tried it and failed, God knew what they had done and came looking for them (Gen 3).
  • Moses tried to get away when he committed murder,
  • Jacob tried to run away from his angry brother and responsibility for stealing and cheating his father, and brother.
  • and so did the prophet Jonah, who only went from bad to worse.
  • King David, tried to cover up; adultery, stealing another man’s wife and murder, but God sent a Prophet to reveal to David that He knew all about it.
 We ALL try and hide and cover over our sins. But God only wants what’s best for us in life, that’s why He gave us His Commandments.

Let’s face the TRUTH: We can’t get away from God. There is nowhere to HIDE from Him.

Know the TRUTH and the TRUTH shall set you FREE…

We need God’s presence with us if we want to enjoy His love and fulfill His purposes.
He’ll NEVER Let Go of Your Hand.
Repent and Believe the Good News: He’ll NEVER Let You Go.
Romans 5:8 “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
 
God brought Adam and Eve out of the Garden of Eden and clothed them in Animal Skin, to cover their shameful nakedness. Something had to die to cover over their SIN. We’ve been covered in the robe of righteousness, but Jesus had to die on the Cross for our sins, before we could be covered in His robe of righteousness.
“He hath clothed me in garments of Salvation,
And arrayed me in a robe of righteousness”

HOW TO GET PEACE WITH GOD?

Romans 5:1-11 (NIV)
1  Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,
2  through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God.
3  Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance;
4  perseverance, character; and character, hope.
5  And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.
6  You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly.
7  Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die.
8  But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
9  Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him!
10  For if, when we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life!
11  Not only is this so, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.
We cannot HIDE from God: So TURN in Repentance: Trust in Christ’s Death upon the Cross for your sins. Receive His forgiveness, cleansing and covering. Amen!
You Father God wants to walk with you and talk with you and guide you, because His plans for your life are the very best. When you begin to walk with Jesus, His promise is that He’ll never loose any of those that He’s saved. He’ll never let go of your hand. His is with you every step of the way. He wants to save you and be with you forever. Stop running, stop trying to hide, turn and face the music and be with your LORD of LIFE today.
Hope you all have a FANTASTIC week with Jesus.
He’ll NEVER Let Go of Your Hand.
Don.
P.S. Why not come out and SHARE the Good News of Jesus with us on the Streets of London?
We go out on Wednesdays and tell folks the greatest news they can ever hear; “Whilst they are still sinners, God loves them”…
We promise that when you are training you won’t have to say anything, you just come and watch and learn HOW to Share your Faith. When you are feeling comfortable with it, then you can have a go yourself. It’s fun, it’s easy and you’ll see that Jesus really is ALIVE and wants people to know Him. He’s drawing people to Himself by the Holy Spirit, we’re just out there working with Him. Come and learn to share your faith the way that Jesus taught His own Disciples. We call it “The Way of The Master”… Learn to share you faith the same way that Jesus did.
Wednesdays: Gathering at 5.00pm in St Luke’s Church, West Norwood, London. SE27 0HS.
We do a little bit of training beforehand, then pray and go out and share Jesus, with Jesus.

Jesus said, “The workers are few” Will you be one of Jesus’ harvesters?

Matthew 9:35-38 (NIV)
35  Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness.
36  When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.
37  Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few.
38  Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.”
I’m asking Jesus, the LORD of the Harvest, to bring more workers into the Harvest field.
Will you RESPOND to the call of the LORD?
He’ll NEVER Let Go of Your Hand.

Knowing The Father’s Heart.

Daily Spirit & Word: 735:

St Luke's Church West Norwood London
St Luke’s Church
May 2016

Knowing The Father’s Heart.

How knowing your Heavenly Father’s Heart can change the way you pray.

Good morning my friends, I’ve got something AWESOME to share with you today.

Street Evangelism: WOWzer! What a brilliant evening of faith sharing in West Norwood.
Thanks again to our faithful team (you can join too) we’re getting closer to Jesus and each other every time we go out in the Holy Spirit’s anointing.
If you’ve ever thought that you just couldn’t go out and share your faith with strangers, it’s time to think again.
I’m not joking, it’s time: Because last night we had so much fun, so many laughs and giggles, but we were sharing the most important stuff these people have ever heard. As we shared Jesus, so many folks opened up and shared their hearts, hurts and feelings about ‘real’ stuff. Fantastic!

First, we met to pray and I shared how the Lord had been encouraging me to pray. I’ve been reading an exciting book by a man called Ying Kai (He’s coming to St Luke’s on Sunday to share and again to my house on Friday 13th May, if you are excited about Jesus and love Him as Lord, you are more than welcome to come to my house next week). His book is called T4T you can get it on Kindle or at Amazon quite cheaply. I know Ben is bringing a few copies to our meeting next Friday.

In his book Ying shared a story, it’s all about our Heavenly Father’s Heart.

Ying said, “one December, after training at a church for three days, I asked the trainees to come back in January and give their testimonies. VVhen they returned, one girl who worked in a factory said, “VVhen I became a Christian, I was very excited. So I telephoned my parents and told them, ‘I have become a Christian; I’m very excited. This coming New Year, when I come back home, I will bring back a Bible and the Jesus Film and share with you.”

Her father was very angry and said, “If you have become a Christian, do not come home. I won’t have that kind of a daughter.”

She was very sad, but during the December training, she listened to our message, and thought, “This is the Heavenly Father’s heart. He wants to save my family.” So she prayed for her parents, and said, “Holy Father, if this is your heart, please let your Holy Spirit prepare my parents. I want to share with them. This coming New Year, I must go home to share with them.”

As she was waiting for the train that would take her home, she suddenly felt something stir in her heart. She could not wait. She picked up her cell phone and called her parents. Once again, her father answered the phone. She said, “Dad, I still want to talk to you.”

The dad said, ‘ ‘Wiat do you want to talk to me about? About God?”

She said, “Yes.”

Her father said, “Okay. I’m listening.” The Holy Spirit had already prepared her father’s heart. That day, she led her father to Christ.

Her father was waiting for her when she arrived. He wanted her to share with the whole family. It’s the Heavenly Father’s heart. He is preparing people all around you!” Ying Kai: T4T

I don’t know about you, but that story has changed the way I’m going to be praying from now on. But I need to get to KNOW what the Father’s Heart is. Then I remembered what Jesus said about asking again.

John 14:11-14 (NIV)
11  Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least believe on the evidence of the miracles themselves.
12  I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.
13  And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father.
14  You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.

KNOW THE FATHER’S HEART: We must remain in Christ: John 15. Then we will KNOW His will. If we ASK anything according to HIS WILL, it will be done for you in heaven. So the next question I asked myself was, “Donald, do you really, really, really believe this is the FATHER’S WILL?” It’s like the conversation I had in my head when I was being called to ministry in 1987. I heard that now familiar internal voice saying, “Go on Donald, ask Me”… Last night we prayed before we left to go out on the streets and it was very DIFFERENT than normal, it was EASY, much easier. When we prayed we KNEW it was the Father’s will that some people come into His family, we asked Him to lead us to them, guide our conversations and bring them in. It was like we just KNEW Jesus was with us and by His Holy Spirit drawing the people we were chatting with to Himself. Almost every conversation we had with folks led to them hearing something of the Eternal Gospel of Jesus Christ. Those we chatted with thanked us when we came to the end of our conversations. A young man, who didn’t believe in “my God”, but had his own version of a god, said, “You’ve definitely made me think”. He took my contact card and I said, “Give me a call sometime, we’ll meet for a chat and a coffee in Costa, I’ll buy and we can share a bit more”…

My friends, how’s your PRAYING going? Are you asking knowing the Father’s Heart. He wants some things MORE than you do. He’s been waiting for years to hear you ask in FAITH. Ask and you will receive! Do we really believe Jesus words, “And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father. You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.” John 14:13-14.

Do you believe that Jesus wants your; family, friends, neighbours, co-workers, etc SAVED? He does you know! Pray now KNOWING it’s the Father’s Heart. Ask HIM to change their hearts, to give them a heart of flesh instead of a heart of stone. Believe HE hears you when you pray in faith. Believe it’s HIS will to save and then be obedient and SHARE JESUS with them. It’s amazing, it’s AWESOME!

It’s strange, because sometimes we pray as if we need to twist God’s arm up His Holy back, but little do we know He wants some things more than we do.

When we do Kingdom stuff, KNOWING God’s Will, it’s so much easier. Next question: Do you believe that God wants you to be sharing your faith with others?

Today, I’m praying that you will have an awesome adventure in prayer and being with Jesus. That you’ll get so close to Him, you’ll KNOW your Heavenly Father’s Heart. Amen!

Don.

 

P.S. Click Here to see Ying Kai’s Book: T4T (Training For Trainers).

 

ASK and You SHALL Receive

Ask, Seek, Find, Knock,

Daily Spirit & Word, 633: Ask and You Shall Receive.

Good morning my friends, be ready to be ENCOURAGED TODAY!

You know the hymn “What a friend we have in Jesus”? Well in the first verse it goes;

“Oh, what peace we often forfeit,
Oh, what needless pain we bear,
All because we do not carry
Everything to God in prayer!”

All Because:

My friends, when Jesus gave us the Lord’s prayer and told us to ask for daily bread, He didn’t just mean for us to ask ONLY for bread. Whenever you have a NEED of any kind in your life, THEN your Heavenly Father wants you to come to Him with that need.

  • If you have a need for a wife or husband, go to God first, before trying to find one for yourself. He’ll bring the right person into your life.
  • If you have a need for employment, your Heavenly Father wants you to be working, so He’ll supply you with a job.
  • If you have need for a house, your Father knows you need a roof over your head.
  • If you have a need for food, then ASK.
  • If you are sick, go to your Heavenly Father and get the fellowship to pray for you.
  • If you are lonely, come to your Heavenly Father first.

So many people have NEEDS in life, that they don’t bother God with, they try always in their own strength to meet those needs. Instead of going immediately to Father God, they’ll go to a doctor or the chemist. Instead of asking God for money, they’ll go and get a loan and get into serious debt.

Remember, “it’s NOT by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit says the LORD.”

Sometimes we’re experiencing a lack in life, simply because we didn’t ASK God.

James 4:2 “You want something but don’t get it. You kill and covet, but you cannot have what you want. You quarrel and fight. You do not have, because you do not ask God.”

Ask your Heavenly Father: Think about he PEACE that you are often missing out on by not taking all your needs to Him.

What a friends we have in Jesus,
ALL our sins and griefs to bear,
what a privilege to carry,
EVERYTHING to God in prayer,
Oh what PEACE we often forfeit,
Oh, what needless PAIN we bear,
All because we do not carry,
EVERYTHING to God in prayer.

Matthew 7:7-8
7  “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.
8  For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.

What NEEDS do you have in your life that are not being met?

I want to encourage you today my friends, take them to your Heavenly Father.
Ask Him in the Name of Jesus.
Pray to Him in the Spirit.
Sing songs and presents your requests to God with thanksgiving in your heart, knowing that He hears you when you pray in faith and that He longs to give you what you need.

I’ve found that the times when I’m not praying very much for things is when I’m quite well off. We take things for granted and forget that everything we have in this world comes to us because of God’s grace, love and mercy. So if you are NOT in need just now, then be sure to give the Lord thanks and praise. Honour Him by giving some of it away generously to those who are experiencing lack in their lives. Who knows, you may be just the person that the LORD has gifted to answer someone else’s prayers.

Have a blessed Saturday.

We’re off to the Lord Mayor’s Parade in the City of London today with some of our grandchildren.

Don.

NOTE: Asking in the Bible:

Matthew 7:7. Luke 11:9. Ephesians 6:18-19. Philippians 4:6. James 5:13. Psalm 40:1-3.

 

Jesus Comfort In The Face of Death.

The Revelation of Jesus comes to those who are obedient to His Commands

Daily Spirit & Word, 631:

“Peace I leave with you, my peace I give you.”

God’s Comfort In The FACE of DEATH.

Good morning my friends, I know the title sounds bleak, but bear with me because there’s great encouragement and comfort today; God WANTS to REVEAL Himself to you today.

When Jesus was nearing the end of His earthly mission and He knew what was about to happen to Him, His thoughts were not for Himself, He was thinking about how His disciples would feel once He’d gone back to Heaven. He was thinking about them all because He loved them and knew that they all loved Him too. When someone we LOVE departs this Earth, it hurts. No matter how prepared you are for that event, deep down it tears something from your soul when a loved on leaves.

I’ll never forget my own mother’s death: We knew a week before she died that she’d only have one week left in this world. The Doctors had to stop her Dialysis Treatment: She was in the Renal Ward and the treatment wasn’t working. She was also riddled with Cancer. I had to break the news to my mum along with my dad that she only had a week to live. Although everyone knew she was coming to the end of her life, when she eventually died it was as if something was ripped from my own soul and a sick, empty feeling continued for many hours in my stomach.

When Jesus knew what was about to happen, He felt for His own disciples too. So with these words our Lord began to comfort them: Imagine getting this kind of assurance at the impending death of a loved one.

John 14:15-27 God’s Comfort In The Face of Death.
15 “If you love me, you will obey what I command.
16  And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counsellor to be with you for ever—
17  the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you.
18  I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.
19  Before long, the world will not see me any more, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live.
20  On that day you will realise that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you.
21  Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me. He who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love him and show myself to him.”
22  Then Judas (not Judas Iscariot) said, “But, Lord, why do you intend to show yourself to us and not to the world?”
23  Jesus replied, “If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him.
24  He who does not love me will not obey my teaching. These words you hear are not my own; they belong to the Father who sent me.
25  “All this I have spoken while still with you.
26  But the Counsellor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.
27  Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.

This whole passage is bound up in LOVE:

  • The LOVE: That God has for His Son, the Son (Jesus) for the Father (God).
  • The LOVE: That God has for those He’s brought to His Son Jesus.
  • The LOVE: That God the Son has for those He’s been teaching and training for over three years.
  • The LOVE: That those who’ve been following Jesus have for Him and for God and for each other.

It’s ALL ABOUT LOVE: And love hurts.

Verse 18: “I will not leave you as orphans”… An Orphan is one who’s bereft of parents. He’s hurting because he’s alone in this world. But Jesus is promising that they’ll get another counsellor and guide: God the Holy Spirit. God the Son is going to be replaced by God the Holy Spirit. It’s going to be different though; instead of God walking with them, talking with them, eating with them, He’s going to be INSIDE them. They’ll know God from now on in a very different way.

There is a condition attached to this REVELATION that’s about to happen.

“If anyone loves me and obeys my teaching”

The internal revelation and presence of God the Holy Spirit will only happen to those who are OBEDIENTLY seeking God.

God will never and can never show Himself to those who don’t want to know Him: those who are DISOBEDIENT.

NOTE: That doesn’t mean we need to be sinless or perfect to get a revelation of God. It just means we’ve come to God in weakness, repentance and faith, trusting in His Divine goodness and forgiveness through Jesus the Son, with a desire to be obedient to all He’s commanded: then we’ll get the revelation, presence and love of God: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

But what awesome PROMISES: God on the inside.

“My Father will love him” Awesome.

“He will be loved by My Father, I too will love him and will SHOW MYSELF to him”. WOWzer! Jesus is going to SHOW (Reveal) Himself to you.

Have you had that personal REVELATION yet?

It comes to EVERYONE who’s born of God’s Spirit.

When you are BORN AGAIN you KNOW Jesus, because He SHOWS Himself to you.

All this shows us how DEEP the Father’s LOVE for us is; and How interconnected God is: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

Have an awesome day with the RESURRECTED Lord Jesus Christ.

Be filled afresh with God the Holy Spirit NOW!

Be assured that you belong to Father God Almighty and He LOVES you. Amen!

Don.

 

How Are You Getting Things Done Today?

Doing it God's Way

Daily Spirit & Word: 571:

How Are You Getting Things Done Today?

The Camping Trip:

One day a father and son went for a camping trip in the woods and they needed to build a good fire-surround for the duration of their stay. So the father and son started to gather rocks to make a wall for the fire. The little boy was helping gathering stones, but the father said, “Son we need rocks, big rocks, not little stones” So the son went out and found a great big rock, but after trying for ages he couldn’t lift it. The father saw his son’s sweat, frustration and exhaustion, so he asked his son, “Are you using all your strength?” The boy said, “Yes Daddy”, but then the father said, “You’re not son, because you haven’t asked me to help you”. He explained, “Son, you don’t just have muscles, but you have a brain, you know that you and I can lift that rock easily together.” So they did and together they built the best fire-surround-wall, now they could sit and relax and enjoy the warmth and utility of the fire for the whole camping trip.

My friends, so many Christians are doing things in our own strength today, but the Bible tells us how we can do it so much easier;

NOT BY OUR OWN STRENGTH:

Zechariah 4:6  “So he said to me, “This is the word of the LORD to Zerubbabel: ‘Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,’ says the LORD Almighty.”” 

not might, not strength, but by Holy Spirit
Spirit POWER

The Bible says it’s NOT by our own might or power that we’re going to get anything done, but by God’s Spirit. The HOLY Spirit.

My friends, Jesus said some things very like that too;

John 15:5-8 5  “I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. 6  If anyone does not remain in me, he is like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. 7  If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you. 8  This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.

Jesus wants you to be able to be fruitful, but He knows that apart from Him that it’s impossible for you.

So many Christians are trying their best to be ‘good’ Christians, but they are NOT availing themselves of the POWER to be what God has called them to be, they’re trying their best in their own strength.

My friends, we NEED to stop being like that little boy, stop trying to get things done all by ourselves and cry out to our Father in Heaven, cry out to your loving Lord Jesus and cry out to the Holy Spirit: When you do, do you know what? You’re going to get a fantastic surprise, your Father in Heaven is like the father in the story, He’s waiting, He’s watching, He’s Longing for you to just admit you can’t do it all by yourself and you need His help.

  • He’s waiting! 
  • Are you tired of the struggle?
  • He’s Longing!
  • Are you weary of the battle?
  • He watching!
  • Are you ready to give up and try the BEST way to get this Christian life done?

Have an awesome day in the power and presence of GOD: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

Prayer: Oh dear Lord Jesus, forgive me for my pride and foolishness in thinking I can do it all by myself. I admit that I need You just as much today as I did when I started to follow You as my Lord and Saviour. Please Lord, help me to trust You with everything and when I feel the struggle, to cry out to You quickly for the help that I need, and I know now that You are just watching, longing and waiting for me to shout out to you for that help. I know You are available and ready when I’m going to call. Amen!

My friends, call to Jesus Christ today and know that He’s just longing to help you in everything.

Stay blessed in Jesus.

Don.

P.S. Discover The Spirit Filled Life

Doing it God's Way
Not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit, says the LORD Almighty.

 

Jesus is the Master of my fate, Jesus is the Captain of my soul.

Invictus Unconquorerable

Daily Spirit & Word 560: Awards to Avoid in Achievement.

“Jesus is the Master of my fate, Jesus is the Captain of my soul”

 

Good morning my friends, we live in an culture that is driven by success and achievement.

Your youngsters are monitored for and the school is graded by their ACHIEVEMENTS.

People are attracted to schools that consistently ‘perform’ the best, parents look at the records of a school’s achievements before even considering walking through the doors to view the school.

Whilst we all applaud an individual’s successes and achievements; and quite rightly too, because a lot of effort, toil, sweat, dedication and study is exerted to gain those: merits, awards and diplomas. However, there are certain pitfalls, traps and dangers that we need to be aware of in a culture steeped in mindset of success and achievement.

For if we only live for the awards and applauds of men and women in our life, then we’ll be living far below God’s Kingdom Standards of success and achievement.

Just as a proud parents cheers their child on in the School or College Sport’s Day, so we, followers of the Lord Jesus Christ, have a Heavenly Father, who’s watching, cheering, waving, longing and waiting for each and every one of us to win our race that’s been marked our for us.

1) Avoid being totally Self-Sufficient:

In the films; The Dead Poet’s Society and ‘Invictus’.

There is a repeated motto: “I AM THE CAPTAIN OF MY SOUL”

INVICTUS (Unconquerable). (See notes below).

By William Ernest Henley (I885).

Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds, and shall find me, unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul

Nelson Mandela meditated regularly upon this poem during his incarceration in South Africa and read it to fellow prisoners. Barak Obama read the last two stansas at Nelson Mandela memorial service.

Whilst we all long to see a degree of the ability of individuals to be able to LEARN for themselves, and to INVESTIGATE and to DISCOVER. Because we know that the BIGGEST milestones in life are the ones we’ve made our own BREAKTHROUGHS in learning and discovery.

However, in becoming totally SELF-SUFFICIENT (to be the CAPTAIN of your own soul) there is also a danger: Because there comes a point when an individual becomes reluctant to seek help or ask for advice or able to receive instruction.

Just like solid polished granite is impervious to water, so is the individual to the LORD’S instruction, who’s become totally SELF-Sufficient.

 Why should we avoid being totally self-sufficient?

Jeremiah 17:5-6 5  This is what the LORD says: “Cursed is the one who trusts in man, who depends on flesh for his strength and whose heart turns away from the LORD.
6  He will be like a bush in the wastelands; he will not see prosperity when it comes. He will dwell in the parched places of the desert, in a salt land where no-one lives.

Most Important: One thing that people long for more than anything else in our Success and Achievement driven culture is: POPULARITY. How do we know we’re ‘popular’? Because we have lots of ‘friends’. Friends are marked by ‘LIKES’ or ‘SNAPS’ or ‘STARS’ or “G+s” in SOCIAL MEDIA or HITS on Websites.

However, we must note, that when we’re only driven by being popular in the eyes of the world, we’re in danger of allowing our HEARTS to TURN AWAY FROM THE LORD.

When we’re TRUSTING IN: MAN (FLESHLY STRENGTH) for our STRENGTH (i.e. we measure our strength by fleshly prowess, fleshly skill, fleshly ability, fleshly might) then we’re NOT trusting in or relying upon the LORD.

It’s OK to have a degree of Self-Sufficiency: It’s healthy, but to be TOTALLY Self-Sufficient can lead our hearts away from the LORD.

Jesus is calling you and me today: Instead of being totally self-sufficient to be DEPENDENT: To trust in and rely upon the LORD. Not the strength of the flesh.

READ THIS OUT ALOUD (Remember ‘faith’ comes by hearing God’s Word).

Proverbs 3:1-15

1  My son, do not forget my teaching, but keep my commands in your heart, 
2  for they will prolong your life many years and bring you prosperity. 
3  Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart. 
4  Then you will win favour and a good name in the sight of God and man. 
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. 
7  Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD and shun evil. 
8  This will bring health to your body and nourishment to your bones. 
9  Honour the LORD with your wealth, with the firstfruits of all your crops; 
10  then your barns will be filled to overflowing, and your vats will brim over with new wine. 
11  My son, do not despise the LORD’S discipline and do not resent his rebuke
12  because the LORD disciplines those he loves, as a father the son he delights in. 
13  Blessed is the man who finds wisdom, the man who gains understanding, 
14  for she is more profitable than silver and yields better returns than gold. 
15  She is more precious than rubies; nothing you desire can compare with her.

It’s HEAVENLY WISDOM followers of Jesus need to strive for, not fleshly success and achievement.

How we look in God’s EYES is much more important than the eyes of others.

Question: Who is the CAPTAIN of your soul? Is it you, yourself (your flesh, will, strength and achievements) or is it Jesus the Lord who created the Universe, who knows time’s beginning and end?

Let Jesus be your Captain today.

2) Avoid Being Outstanding: (Measuring Yourself Against Others).

  • To WOWzer them with your brilliance!
    To DAZZLE them with your results!
  • To BUCKLE them with your beating all records!
  • To BLIND them with your DAZZLING personality!

Listen to what Jesus is calling His followers to be like:

Jesus however, calls you to be “nothing:”

Jeremiah 45:5  “Should you then seek great things for yourself? Seek them not…”

Philippians 2:3  “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves.”

This is Jesus calling you to be like HIMSELF: Humble, Gentle, Kind, Generous, Gracious and Loving.

He’s doesn’t care about nor is He impressed by your; Dazzling results, beating records, brilliant brain.

He’s going to give you an Eternal WOWzer if you are; humble and kind, Loving and Patient, warm and welcoming, faithful and true.

Avoid measuring yourself or comparing yourself to others, what’s more important is how do I compare to Jesus?

Avoid Being Outstanding (at the expense of others).

3) Avoid The Pull Of POWER:

We all want our children, grandchildren, friends and family to be a force for good in the world, to be men and women of renown, to be the People the world will look up to one day.

However; we should be very wary of POWER for power’s sake.

There is a danger in:

  • Desiring to be Powerful
  • Desiring to WIN at all costs
  • Desiring to Manipulate the Circumstances.
  • Desiring to CONTROL the Outcomes.
  • Desiring To Let Everyone KNOW who’s the BOSS. 

Galatians 1:10 “Am I now trying to win the approval of men, or of God? Or am I trying to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a servant of Christ.”

My friends, Jesus is calling you to a wonderful life of abundance.

However, in order to do that and to be His SUCCESSFUL, BRILLIANT AND DAZZLING follower.

He wants to set you free from the dangers of fleshly success and achievement.

LIKE ANY GOOD PARENT;

  • He wants you to be more popular than you do.
  • He wants you to be more successful than you do.
  • He wants you to be more powerful than you can imagine.

However, He knows the HEAVENLY PATHWAY is;

Hebrews 12:1-4

1 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.
2  Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
3  Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. 
4  In your struggle against sin, you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood.

Jesus is Calling YOU:

  • to shoot your PRIDE: Stop being self-sufficient: Depend upon Him.
  • to kill your ATTITUDE: Stop feeling the need to be OUTSTANDING (from other) but to Shine for His Glory.
  • to die to SELF: Power and Control (Horrible). Powerful and Controlling (Nasty, Evil, Manipulative). Instead; BE FILLED WITH Holy Spirit Power, THIS WILL lead you to desire building up OTHERS UP in Christ’s body.

Can you hear your Heavenly Father, the Lord Jesus Christ and Holy Spirit? God (in Trinity) is cheering for you to win the race that’s been marked out for you.

WHEN YOU ARE READY TO FOLLOW JESUS’ PATHWAYS; Then you can REALLY BEGIN TO LIVE and LEAVE A LEGACY THAT WILL LAST FOREVER.

I’m going to ask followers of Jesus to declare;

“Jesus is the Master of my fate

Jesus is the Captain of my soul”

 

God bless you, the Lord fill you with His Spirit. NOW: go and get RESULTS for His GLORY THAT WILL STAND THE TEST OF TIME AND ETERNITY.

Don.

NOTES:

In the Poem “Invictus” by William Ernest Henley. Written in 1885, You’ll note that it is a rejection of God.

He recognises that the world is DARK (Needs illumination).

The Darkness is world-wide (from Pole to Pole).

Rejects the ONE God. (whatever gods).

Recognises he’s created with a soul.

He accepts circumstance (chance, destiny).

Doesn’t recognise / rejecting that God is in control.

He thinks this life is all there is,

just darkness (shade) on the other side of life.

Yet, that feeling finds him “unafraid”.

“It matter not how straight the gate”

He knows about the narrow path and the narrow gate,

but he doesn’t care (It matters not).

He knows that God’s Keeping a Record of His life.

“How charged with punishments the scroll”

And that God promises His wrath, anger and punishments

for breaking His commandments.

He’s rejecting the LORD as his final destiny

“I am the master of my fate”

He’s rejecting the LORDSHIP of Christ.

“I am the Captain of my soul”.

Existential Poets.

 

Call no man Father

Call no man Father.

Daily Spirit & Word, 472: Call no man ‘father’.

Call no man ‘Master’, ‘Rabbi’, ‘Teacher’ or ‘Lord’.

or the modern equivalent “Call no one “Man of God””.

Good morning my friends, I’ve got that Friday feeling 🙂 Sunday’s coming, but we’ve also got a lovely wedding on Saturday. Anyway, each day has enough worries for itself.

On Wednesday we had the St Luke’s School visit the Church, they came for the Easter Service before they break up for the Easter Holidays. The children and teachers have been working hard in class to undergird the teaching and worship with a Bible understanding of the Cross, the Crucifixion and the Easter Message. I’ve been impressed by their efforts going around the school and visiting the classes whilst the teachers teased out the deeper meaning, so on Wednesday they communicated and worshipped with; Songs, Poetry, Dance and Bible Readings. It was clear they’d really grasped the full meaning of the Cross and Resurrection of Christ. Praise the Lord!

However, one thing spoiled it for me; It was all looking good at the start of the service, then one of the teachers welcomed everybody and introduced me, “I’m going to ask Father Donald”…. A shudder went down my spine. I hate being called ‘Father Donald’. Why? I hate it because of what the Bible teaches; I don’t know how many times I’ve told the school to call me Donald or Reverend, but don’t call me ‘Father’…. Am I being a little bit too sensitive? Let’s see what the Bible, the Word of the LORD, has to say about the matter.

Matthew 23:1-12 “Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples, 2  “The teachers of religious law and the Pharisees are the official interpreters of the law of Moses. 3  So practice and obey whatever they tell you, but don’t follow their example. For they don’t practice what they teach. 4  They crush people with impossible religious demands and never lift a finger to ease the burden. 5  “Everything they do is for show. On their arms they wear extra wide prayer boxes with Scripture verses inside, and they wear robes with extra long tassels. 6  And they love to sit at the head table at banquets and in the seats of honour in the synagogues. 7  They love to receive respectful greetings as they walk in the marketplaces, and to be called ‘Rabbi.’ 8  “Don’t let anyone call you ‘Rabbi,’ for you have only one teacher, and all of you are equal as brothers and sisters. 9  And don’t address anyone here on earth as ‘Father,’ for only God in heaven is your spiritual Father. 10  And don’t let anyone call you ‘Teacher,’ for you have only one teacher, the Messiah. 11  The greatest among you must be a servant. 12  But those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”

I may do a weekly study after Easter on these Seven Woes of the Lord Jesus in Matthew 23.

By calling someone ‘Father’ or looking to them as a Teacher (Rabbi) or even as your Master, you are substituting them for the position that Christ alone must have in your heart and affections. You are giving attention to mere men as you should only give it to the Lord of Heaven. Christ must be your Lord, your Master, your Teacher, your Rabbi, your Messiah and God alone is your spiritual Father in Heaven. We are not to have earthly ‘spiritual’ fathers to replace or substitute the place of our Father God in Heaven. It’s also breaking the first of the Ten Commandments and possibly the second as well.

 Modern Terminology “Man of God”…

There is a tendency amongst some of my African brothers and sisters, both here in the UK and in Africa to do the same thing Jesus is warning us about today. They don’t use; ‘Master’ or ‘Rabbi’ or ‘Father’ or anything like that, but they’ve now invented another title; they call people who are, they suppose, ‘anointed’ with the Holy Spirit; “Man of God”… They’ll say, “The Man of God says this…” or “The Man of God instructs such-n-such” as if the so called ‘Man of God’ was a god himself. He’s taken over the place reserved for Christ alone in the hearts and affections of the People of God. The Holy Spirit who interprets God’s Word in our hearts is crying out to the Church today, let those who have ears to hear, listen to the voice of the Spirit of God. He’s a jealous God and He hates it when others get His glory. He knows how bad and evil it is for human beings to let themselves or others be in the place of God. That was the first sin in the Garden of Eden and it’s the sin that will make men stumble even in the body of Christ today. Whenever we place a man or woman in such a position of affection, we’re substituting mere human beings for our precious Lord of Heaven.

When the Bible refers to the term, “Man of God” it’s normally warning Believers in the Lord Jesus to flee from worldly affections, sins, seeking riches, desiring to be wealthy, staying pure, holy and contented with life. Something, that very few of the modern, so called, “Men of God” actually model for their followers.

  •  Christ Alone – Cornerstone. 

  • Christ Alone is the Capstone.

  • The Stone that makes men stumble.

  • The Rock that crushes.

So my friends, we’re not to call anyone: “Father, Rabbi, Teacher, Master or Lord” for we have already got ONE Master, Lord, Saviour, Rabbi, Teacher, Father in Heaven: The Lord Jesus Christ. Remember yesterday’s teaching, “He and the Father along with the Holy Spirit are ONE”.

Each member of Father God’s family is a Brother or Sister; nothing more, nothing less.

Stay blessed my brothers and sisters in Christ.

Don.

Call no man Father.