Seeking The Presence of God

He is with you forever once you come to Jesus

Daily Spirit & Word: 812: Seeking The Presence Of God.

Good morning my friends, what an awesome Sunday we just had. The church was full of people, because we had three Thanksgivings for babies. It was so good because as we praised the LORD, sang songs, listened to His Word and prayed, we sensed the presence of the LORD.

Acts 23:11 (NIV) “The following night the Lord stood near Paul and said, “Take courage! As you have testified about me in Jerusalem, so you must also testify in Rome.””

There’s absolutely nothing more encouraging for any Christian than to KNOW the presence of the LORD. When you know that He is with you, then you can endure anything in this life.

It was true of some of the Ancients in the Bible: St Paul and Joseph, both in PRISON sensed, knew and experienced the presence of the LORD.

  • Paul in Prison in Jerusalem and Philippi Acts 23:11, Acts 16:16-40.
  • Joseph in Prison Genesis 39… That LORD was with him.

Genesis 39:20-21 (NIV)
20  Joseph’s master took him and put him in prison, the place where the king’s prisoners were confined. But while Joseph was there in the prison, 21  the LORD was with him; he showed him kindness and granted him favour in the eyes of the prison warder.

Of course we can’t forget many others; Jacob, Moses, Abraham, Elijah and King David who begged the LORD not to take the presence of the Holy Spirit away from him.

My friends, when you are going through stuff in this life, troubles, hardships, tests and trials, attacks from people and persecution for you faith in the LORD Jesus Christ, then know this truth, the abiding presence of the LORD will encourage you, strengthen you and sustain you through it all.

It’s good when friends stick close in troubled times, but it seems to me that friends will always let you down when you need them most. It was true of Jesus and King David, Joseph’s brothers sold him into slavery, Paul’s companions abandoned him when he was thrown into prison in Rome, and it will sometimes be true for you as well. So many Christians have been let down by those they expected would be there for them in sickness or hardships. However, the LORD would never leave you, that’s His promise once you’ve come to Jesus and put your faith and trust in Him for Salvation from sin. There is NOTHING we need more, and nothing more we need, than the abiding presence of the LORD.

There is NOTHING we need more, that to know and experience the presence of the LORD.

  • He will never leave you.
  • He will never forsake you.
  • He is with you forever.

If there’s any verse that a Christian should take to heart and memorise it’s this one:

James 4:7-10 (NKJV)
7  Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.
8  Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded.
9  Lament and mourn and weep! Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom.
10  Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up.

God’s saying to you today, “…Draw near to God and He will draw near to you…”

YBH: Yes, but HOW? 

It’s easy to say, “Draw near to God”, but how do we actually do it?

Try this my friends and you’ll soon discover that God will reveal Himself to you in awesome ways.

  • Praise: Sing a few songs of praise. Look what happened when Paul and Silas did that in Prison (Acts 16).
  • Prayer: Honour God first by Praying The Lord’s Prayer, then Confess any known sins.
  • Repent: Repent afresh and seek His cleansing and forgiveness.
  • Trust: Trust in Jesus Christ again for your Salvation… Keep TRUSTING…
  • Seek: Seek the fullness and presence of God the Holy Spirit right now.
  • Praise: Worship the Lord in Spirit and Truth. Sing and make music in your heart to the LORD.
  • Seek to Serve: Be obedient to what the LORD is showing you to do today. God’s always got something He wants you to be doing for Him, every day. Just do it… You’ll be amazed when you listen to that prompting of the Holy Spirit.

 

There is NOTHING you need more, that to know and experience the abiding presence of the LORD.

Isaiah 41:10 (NKJV)
10  Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.’

If ever I’m feeling troubled and need the LORD’S presence and fullness, that is what I do.

Have an awesome week with Jesus my friends,

Don.

 

Freedom From Fear

Your fears will vanish like the mist they are

Daily Spirit & Word: 779: Freedom From Fear.

Good morning my friends, we had a bit of a scare a few days ago (17th Aug 2016) for about 20 minutes my three year old grandson Karamoko went missing on a very crowded Camber Sands beach. Granny was digging a boat out of the sand with his help, but somehow he wandered away and got lost. Granny panicked, mummy panicked, the people on the beach began to panic. Granny phoned me and asked me to pray. I did of course, immediately, I talked to Father God through Jesus and asked Him to return Karamoko unharmed. A few minutes later I got another call back from a very relieved Julie, “He’s been found”… What do you do in a situation when you get fearful of what might happen?

Jeremiah 38:19 (NIV)  King Zedekiah said to Jeremiah, “I am afraid of the Jews who have gone over to the Babylonians, for the Babylonians may hand me over to them and they will ill-treat me.”

In the book of the Prophet of the Lord, Jeremiah, we read about the capture of Jerusalem by the Babylonians. However, King Zedekiah was more afraid of being mocked and illtreated by his fellow Jews than he was of the mighty Babylonian King and his army. However, there’s yet one more person whom he’s also less afraid of; God.

 Zedekiah’s Fears

“And Zedekiah the king said unto Jeremiah, I am afraid of the Jews that are fallen to the Chaldeans, lest they deliver me into their hand, and they mock me.” (Jeremiah 38:19)

Jeremiah had, through the revealed Word of God, instructed Zedekiah, the king of Judah, to go to the Babylonians and surrender. Our verse tells us Zedekiah’s response. He did not want to do as Jeremiah / the LORD had instructed him. Zedekiah’s response reveals his fears. We note from this verse what he feared and what he didn’t.

What Zedekiah Feared. “I am afraid of the Jews that are fallen to the Chaldeans, lest they deliver me into their hand, and they mock me.” Zedekiah was afraid of men and of mocking. He was afraid of what men might do to him. He feared being harmed by the Israelites who had gone over to the Babylonians. But if you are afraid of what men will do to you or might do to you, then you won’t do very well in doing the will of God.

Zedekiah’s Greatest Fear: Zedekiah especially feared mocking. He had so much pride and did not want to be mocked. He was so afraid somebody would make fun of him for obeying God. Many Christians are no different. They cower before mocking and do not obey God or they might get laughed at by someone. If you are afraid of being laughed at, then you won’t be able to do much for the Kingdom of the LORD, because His ways are always the opposite of the world’s ways. He values what the world doesn’t. Remember that your Lord Jesus experienced lots and lots of mocking and scorning in order to provide Salvation for us. We must not hide our testimony for Jesus just because we’re afraid of a little mocking.

What Zedekiah Did Not FEAR:

Zedekiah did not fear to disobey God. He did not fear the judgment of God. Jeremiah had warned Zedekiah that not surrendering to the Babylonians would bring God’s judgment. But Zedekiah did not fear that part of the message of Jeremiah. He was more afraid of what men could do to him and that they might mock him.

Imagine that, Zedekiah had been clearly warned by the LORD what would happen to him, his country, his women and children, and yet he thought more about being mocked. He’d also been told that if he surrendered he’d be SAFE.

Zedekiah is not alone is this lack of fear of the LORD. To be honest we’re all a bit like that. We worry much more about what people think about us than what the LORD thinks. The truth is, even amongst Christians, there are very few people fear God today. We don’t fear His judgment upon their sins, but instead fear what people will think about us.

What do you fear today? Are you afraid of men and of mocking or do you fear the the Lord God Almighty? You are going to fear someone—make sure you fear God and His judgment more than man and his mocking.

Here are two more verses that might just help in overcoming our fear of men:

Proverbs 9:10 (NIV) “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.

If only Zedekiah had listened to Jeremiah.

Matthew 10:28 (NIV) “Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell.”

The major reason Zedekiah or every Christian shouldn’t be afraid is that the LORD is with us.

Psalm 118:4-14 (NIV)
4  Let those who fear the LORD say: “His love endures for ever.”
5  In my anguish I cried to the LORD, and he answered by setting me free.
6  The LORD is with me; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?
7  The LORD is with me; he is my helper. I will look in triumph on my enemies.
8  It is better to take refuge in the LORD than to trust in man.
9  It is better to take refuge in the LORD than to trust in princes.
10  All the nations surrounded me, but in the name of the LORD I cut them off.
11  They surrounded me on every side, but in the name of the LORD I cut them off.
12  They swarmed around me like bees, but they died out as quickly as burning thorns; in the name of the LORD I cut them off.
13  I was pushed back and about to fall, but the LORD helped me.
14  The LORD is my strength and my song; he has become my salvation.

When FEAR took FLIGHT: I can’t forget the day that FEAR departed from my life. All my life I’d been afraid of the dark and death, but when I trusted Jesus my fears vanished like a mist. Fear really is a mist, it doesn’t exist except in our imagination of what might or may happen. So treat fear like the mist it is, and trust in something more solid, sure and certain: Jesus is with you. Amen!

So my friends, when fear strikes, TRUST in the LORD: Don’t listen to your fears: Don’t worry about being mocked: Why because when you’ve trusted in Jesus for your Salvation, then He is with you, you are indwelt with the Holy Spirit (God Himself takes up residence in your life when Jesus becomes your King). From the moment you trust in Jesus there’s no need to be afraid of men. If fear creeps in, cast it out in the Name of Jesus.

If you are still AFRAID: Ask yourself this question: “Is Jesus really my King?”… If there is any part or aspect of your life that you’ve not submitted to Him, get on your knees now and hand your life over into the mighty hands of the Loving Saviour. He’ll deliver you from all your fears. Amen!

PRAYER: O Lord, I can see that I’ve been listening to my fears rather than trusting in You, forgive my foolish ways O Lord. Amen.

Don.

P.S. I can’t forget the day that FEAR departed from my life. All my life I’d been afraid of the dark and death, but when I trusted Jesus my fears vanished like a mist. Fear really is a mist, it doesn’t exist except in our imagination of what might or may happen. So treat fear like the mist it is, and trust in something more solid, sure and certain: Jesus is with you. Amen!

P.S. If you want to read all about Zedekiah and what happened when Babylon invaded, it’s an exciting read: Start reading at Chapter 21, it’s so good you won’t want to put your Bible down until you’ve read it all :-)…

 

How To Avoid Being A Shrewd Steward

How to avoid shrewd stewardship

Daily Spirit & Word: 778: How to AVOID Being Shrewd Steward.

Don’t Let Money Be Your Master.

Luke 16:8 (NIV) “The master commended the dishonest manager because he had acted shrewdly. For the people of this world are more shrewd in dealing with their own kind than are the people of the light.”

Good morning my friends. You know the feeling you get when someone says something about you, behind your back, but somehow you get to hear about it? It feels horrible to think that people are thinking negatively about you. Well I had that a few years ago, and I didn’t realise that it had stuck with me. At the time I ignored it, but it got under my skin and into the core of my being. That’s the way RESENTMENTS build within us. What was it that someone said? They said, “Donald doesn’t understand money”… I can tell you now, honestly, that hurt. However, it’s not true. I do understand money, I just don’t want to be controlled by it. The LORD has set me FREE from care or worry about MONEY. Praise HIM for that. So I’m sure the LORD is right, the people of this world are more shrewd regarding worldly wealth than I am, but I don’t care, because the LORD owns the Universe and He’ll give me what I need, when I need it, right on time, every time. Trust the LORD with your finances and He’ll take care of the rest. Render to Caesar what belongs to Caesar and to God what belongs to God. When you do, He’ll OPEN the floodgates of Heaven into your life.

In Luke 16:10 right in the middle of the parable of the Shrewd Steward (Manager of the household).

Luke 16:10 (NIV) “Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much.”

As many of you know by now, I’m a bit of a wordsmith, I love looking into the meanings of words. Sometimes I’m surprised by my investigations, take the word ‘shrewd’ as an example. We probably all think we know what shrewd means, right? But when we think about it in light of this Parable in the Bible, we’ll see that being a ‘shrewd’ person is far from a praiseworthy accolade, because shrewdness is being totally self-serving rather than serving God or others.

Shrewd:  1. Marked by practical hardheaded intelligence. 2. Serving one’s own interests in an unemotional, analytical manner.

Other words that can be used (synonyms); astute, calculating, calculative, conniving, savvy, scheming, sharp, smart.

Shrewdness: Intelligence manifested by being astute (as in business dealings).

Here’s one I uncovered: perspicaciousness. Perspicacious: 1. Acutely insightful and wise. 2. Mentally acute or penetratingly discerning.

Shrewd Steward:

You’ll know the Parable and what Jesus said about the Steward (Manager of the Master’s Household).

Luke 16:8 (NIV) “The master commended the dishonest manager because he had acted shrewdly. For the people of this world are more shrewd in dealing with their own kind than are the people of the light.”

The Manager (Steward) was about to loose his job because he was not a good manager (Steward) of the Master’s household. Instead of working harder to serve the Master better, he began to serve himself (shrewdness), he made friends of the people who owed his master money by letting them off the hook and taking only a fraction of what they owed and giving it to the master. He cooked the books in order to feather a nest for himself when he eventually lost his job.

Each transaction amounted to very little, but when all calculated together, the Master would have a massive shortfall. However, the SHREWD STEWARD would be seen to be a ‘nice’ man in the eyes of those who’d been helped out of debt.

We also know that the STEWARDS Jesus was aiming this Parable at, like a bolt in a crossbow, were the Pharisees. They were the Stewards in charge of God’s Household (The Temple and the People of Israel), but they were NOT being good stewards. They valued wealth, riches, rich people were given preference, they showed favouritism to the rich, they were feathering their own nests, rather than leading all of the people back to God and to Godly ways of living. Jesus had very stern words for them at the end of this Parable.

Luke 16:13-15 (NIV)
13  “No servant can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money.”
14  The Pharisees, who loved money, heard all this and were sneering at Jesus.
15  He said to them, “You are the ones who justify yourselves in the eyes of men, but God knows your hearts. What is highly valued among men is detestable in God’s sight.

The Pharisees were being very SHREWD: calculating, cunning and crafty in their dealings with men. However, they didn’t give the Master (God) a second of thought. So Jesus is warning them at this point, they are the SHREWD STEWARDS (Household Managers) who are about to loose their positions of trust.

My friends, money is not evil, but your money, what you own and possess is a TEST or a GAUGE of your FAITHFULNESS to God.

When I served on a submarine, we’d have gauges for all kinds of things, some to measure pressure, some to indicate levels in tanks. The water tanks and fuel tanks needed to be monitored and kept watch over at all times.  Just one glance at a gauge and you’d know the level of the liquid inside the tanks.

In your life God uses the wealth and MONEY He’s given to you to GAUGE your level of faithfulness, commitment or spirituality.

You might declare “I’m not interested in money” (So God can’t accuse me of being an unjust Steward or a Shrewd Manager).

Well here’s a shocker for you, God IS INTERESTED in how you use your money.

You cannot SERVE BOTH: God and Money.

Why? Because your are going to LOVE the one and hate the other.

  • If you love money, then it’s like hatred towards God.
  • If you love God, then it’s like hatred towards Money.

So your Heavenly Father God will use whatever MONEY you’ve been entrusted with as a GAUGE to monitor your faithfulness to HIM (The Master).

When God looks at how you’ve used your money, will He see a FULL or EMPTY indicator?

Remember you cannot serve BOTH… i.e. there’s no in-between measurement. It’s either FULL ON for God or Empty.

If your trusting in God with your finances, then you are going to LOVE God’s ways of dealing with money and you’ll hate the worlds ways. You’ll be set free from worry about money. You’ll use money to serve God’s purposes in your life and wait for it, God Himself has promised to OPEN up the floodgates of Heaven into your life. If you bring into His storehouse what belongs to Him.

What’s God asking for?

It all belongs to HIM anyway, but He’s trusting you with it all: 100% Trust. Now He asks for you to give back to Him a portion of what He’s given you. That’s the TRUST element. He asks for a starting proportion of only 10%, then He’ll also move you to give generously to others and bring even more gifts to offer to Him. This is KINGDOM FINANCES and when you trust God with all your money, He’s going to set your completely FREE from worry, fears, temptations etc.

So, my advice would be:

  • STOP trusting in MONEY,
  • START trusting in God.

You know when you begin to really trust in God financially, you are going to be so on fire with LOVE for Him and for all His Kingdom priorities and values. God reveals His secrets to those who love HIM. You finances are God’s GAUGE to measure how much you really love and trust Him.

Jesus said so much about money, He spoke much more about money than He did; Heaven, Healing or Hell. Why? Because Jesus knew how this world ticks over every single day. He knows you think you need money to survive, but He’s got all the resources you’ll ever need, much more than you can even imagine, if you’ll just trust in HIM.

When GIVING is Tough: Kingdom Freedom Finances.

Mark 12:41-44 (NIV)
41  Jesus sat down opposite the place where the offerings were put and watched the crowd putting their money into the temple treasury. Many rich people threw in large amounts.
42  But a poor widow came and put in two very small copper coins, worth only a fraction of a penny.
43  Calling his disciples to him, Jesus said, “I tell you the truth, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others.
44  They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything—all she had to live on.”

If you are feeling strapped for cash at this moment in your life, believe me I’ve been there. It’s really, really hard to trust the LORD when you’ve got five kids to look after and you’ve just taken a pay cut from £25,000 a year to less than £12,000 and still try to give every week to God. For the first few years of ministry, serving the LORD, I struggled financially too. Then one day, through tears and crying out to the LORD a little miracle happened in my life. I’d started resenting the LORD, but He’s just so good, so kind, so generous and faithful. It took me to my knees to really cry out to Him.

If it looks bleak for you at this moment in time, financially, know this my friends, TRUST the LORD financially, keep giving to Him and He will suddenly open the floodgates into your life in ways you can’t imagine. Think about how much the poor widow really trusted the LORD with her finances, she put into the offering all she had to live on. ALL SHE HAD! That’s 100% giving to the LORD. That’s TRUST. However, the LORD isn’t asking for 100% from you to start with, not 50%, not 20%, but He’s only asking for just 10%… That’s awesome! That’s Kingdom Freedom Finances. All I can say is try it! You’ll see! He’ll set you free.

HOW TO GIVE TO THE LORD!

Bring in your 10% to start with into your local church to which you belong and you are a committed member. It’s not the church you are giving to, it’s God. Don’t give it to charity outside the church (this kind of charitable giving (offerings) is in addition to your Christian committed giving to the LORD’S family in the local church).

Some people say, “Oh I don’t give 10% to my church because I give to charities as well”… Well my friends, you are robbing God. You don’t get your shopping at ASDA and pay TESCO do you? You don’t go to Morrisons and pay in Sainsburry’s do you? No! You pay where you get your shopping. My friends, your local church is where the LORD feeds you with God’s Word, Worship, Fellowship, Teaching, Evangelism, Kingdom Family Friendships and Ministry: Bring in the whole TITHE into the storehouse of God’s Kingdom Family. You giving to your local church is a TEST (Gauge) of your trust and commitment to the LORD. How much do you love the LORD? It will be shown by how much you give to your church.

Malachi 3:6-12 (NIV) KINGDOM GIVING (Tithes and Offerings).
6  “I the LORD do not change. So you, O descendants of Jacob, are not destroyed.
7  Ever since the time of your forefathers you have turned away from my decrees and have not kept them. Return to me, and I will return to you,” says the LORD Almighty. “But you ask, ‘How are we to return?’
8  “Will a man rob God? Yet you rob me. “But you ask, ‘How do we rob you?’ “In tithes and offerings.
9  You are under a curse—the whole nation of you—because you are robbing me.
10  Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the LORD Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it.
11  I will prevent pests from devouring your crops, and the vines in your fields will not cast their fruit,” says the LORD Almighty.
12  “Then all the nations will call you blessed, for yours will be a delightful land,” says the LORD Almighty.

YOUR MONEY: From God, is His GAUGE of your LOVE, TRUST and FAITHFULNESS to HIM.

Don’t be a Shrewd Steward of what the LORD has trusted you with.

Are you feeling a bit dry ‘Spiritually’, then how’s your giving going? Are you holding back on God? Review your GIVING to the LORD today! Get on fire for Jesus.

Be one who LOVES and SERVES ONLY the LORD!

Jesus is the TRUTH: Know the Truth and the Truth will set you FREE.

Have an awesome week with Jesus,

Don.

 

Desperate For LOVE

no God no Love, Know God, Know Love

Daily Spirit & Word: 759: Desperate For LOVE

Good morning my friends, it’s Fantastic Friday again. Some people say, “Monday to Friday is for work, but the weekends are for LOVE”. Well that’s so true, and so I’m going to give you LOVE today. This world is desperate for love, real love. So many people are living lives where love is in short supply, but they don’t have to my friends, because love is much closer than you think.

God IS Love.

1 John 4:7-21 (NIV)
7  Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God.
8  Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.
9  This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him.
10  This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.
11  Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.
12  No-one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.
13  We know that we live in him and he in us, because he has given us of his Spirit.
14  And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Saviour of the world.
15  If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in him and he in God.
16  And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him.
17  In this way, love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment, because in this world we are like him.
18  There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.
19  We love because he first loved us.
20  If anyone says, “I love God,” yet hates his brother, he is a liar. For anyone who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen.
21  And he has given us this command: Whoever loves God must also love his brother.

God is LOVE:

Did you know that in the passage above, LOVE is mentioned 27 times, go on, go back and count it. See how many times you can count the word LOVE?

My friends, how we NEED to KNOW God’s LOVE today; because God is LOVE. I don’t know about you, but I want that LOVE. I need that LOVE.

Yesterday we heard the tragic news that Jo Cox, an young mother and wife, an devoted MP, was shot and stabbed to death, murdered in broad-daylight in a quiet town in England. That’s such a horrific thing and our hearts must go out to her children and her husband. But what about the community who knew and loved her too? Jerremy Corbyn said about her, “She was a wonderful woman who stood for many things – human rights, peace and justice, who suffered a death that was “beyond appalling”.

Jo Cox’s family, friends and this whole Country has been robbed of a wonderful, beautiful and vibrant life. Where is LOVE? Remember what she stood for; “human rights, peace and justice”… These are the very things God wants us to know today, we can only truly know them, when we know God’s love and God is LOVE. You can’t hate people if God’s LOVE is in you, all you can do is love them.

In the passage above it tells us TWICE: God is love, but then it goes on to define that love for us as well: “This IS LOVE: not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins”. 1 John 4 Verse 10.

We know that right? But do we know it?

God is LOVE, so to demonstrate how much He loves you, He sent His ONE and ONLY Son to DIE for you.

When did He do that? Whilst we were still sinners… So it’s not because we deserve it, it’s not because we are good or because of anything in us to make God do it for us, but it’s because of His LOVE.

Why did He do that? Verse 9 tells us why, “So that we might live”… Live in love, live in God, live forever, live in Heaven and not in Hell. That’s real LOVE.

There’s a reason John is telling us all about God’s LOVE:

It’s that God wants, expects and knows, that when we KNOW Him, we’re going to be so full of His love, that we’re going to want to LOVE everyone. Not just the family, the neighbours or our workmates, but EVERYONE. We’re going to LOVE: the unlovely, the ones the world doesn’t love and wants to shut away. We’re going to love the ones who are hard to love. Why and How? because when we KNOW God, He gives us His LOVE in our hearts and that love will be shown in what we do and how we act towards everyone else in this world. If we’re not loving, then we just don’t know God. If we don’t know God then we are NOT SAVED, because we are still in our sins.

God is LOVE: He loves you no matter what, even when you were still a sinner, God was loving you.

Romans 5:8 (NIV) But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

But it’s not a wishy-washy kind of love: You see God is also revealed in John’s Gospel as: Light (Holiness, Righteousness, Justice), Love and Life. (See outline of 1 John at the end).

God couldn’t just let everyone into Heaven because of His love; but Jesus death can. He is always loving, kind and gentle, but He’s also JUST and sin must be punished. What do you think should happen to; murderers, rapists, child molestors, etc? What punishment would you give the murderer of Jo Cox? We, in our human justice, believe they should be punished or made to pay in some way for their crimes, right? Well, God has promised that all SIN will one day be punished. His punishment for sin, all sin, is DEATH. Every liar, thief, adulterer, murderer and rapist will be cast into the lake of fire.

There’s a judgement to Come:

Revelation 20:11-15 (NIV)
11  Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. Earth and sky fled from his presence, and there was no place for them.
12  And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Another book was opened, which is the book of life. The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books.
13  The sea gave up the dead that were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them, and each person was judged according to what he had done.
14  Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. The lake of fire is the second death.
15  If anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.

 Why? Because sin is going against God. God is fair, just and right to punish sin, because when we sin on purpose we’re saying to God, “I’m not going to live the way you want me to.” It’s like shutting the door on your best friend and slamming it in his face. Or it’s like having a feast and not inviting your loving granny to be a part of it, eating your treats in front of her. That’s cruel right? Nobody would ever do that to their loving granny would they? Well, when we live our life as if God doesn’t exist, that’s what we’re doing to Him, we’re slamming the door in God’s face. Well then my friends, when we shut the door on God’s face then we’re going to live for eternity without Him. Sin brings DEATH of our relationship with God and it’s ETERNAL. There is a price to be paid for sin, it’s going to cost us dearly, unless….. unless your name is found in the Lamb’s Book of Life.

However, in His LOVE, whilst we were still sinning like that, God sent His Son to DIE for us.

To benefit from God’s love and His sacrifice, we simply TRUST in Jesus. Turn in repentance and put our faith and trust in His Son.

When you receive Jesus as your LORD and SAVIOUR; you pass from death to life. God will forgive you and wipe away all your sins.

SIMPLE SALVATION: Know God, Know Life and Love.

When you:

  • Believe in Jesus Death for your sins, (Put your faith and trust in Him alone for your Salvation from Sin).
  • Repent of your sins (turn away from them and turn towards God for forgiveness),
  • Confess your sins to Him,
  • Receive Jesus as LORD: He will not force his way in to your life, you must receive Him by faith.
  • Be born of the Spirit, Be filled with Holy Spirit,
  • Be Baptized:
  • Live the Christian life in the power of the Spirit who will guide you to be obedient to all the commands of Jesus in the Bible. 
  • Join in fellowship with Brothers and Sisters in Christ. Worshiping the LORD!
  • Your NAME will be written in the Lamb’s Book of LIFE.

We’ll probably never know what drove that man to commit such a terrible act, it is pure EVIL. However, we can KNOW what real love is like, it’s the complete opposite: It’s a life given so that others might live. Jesus died so that we can live, but not just live a life knowing that He loves us so much, but so that we can also live a life of LOVE as well. If we know God, then we’re going to be LOVING towards everyone.

Love is not a feeling, it’s an act of the will.

Love is not a state of being, but it is a wonderful state to be in.

If you want to know if you love someone or if they love you; then … Get closer to God, because God is LOVE.

The Bible tells us God is love: So to know God is to know love.

YBH: “Yes But How?” “How can I love people more?”

So many people we’re told these days are DESPERATE for love. Thankfully God has provided the KEY to loving people, first get God’s love in your heart by trusting in Jesus, then follow the prompts of the Holy Spirit to become more like Jesus; then you will be doing the following:

1 Corinthians 13:1-13 (NKJV)
1  Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal.
2  And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.
3  And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing.
4  Love suffers long (is patient) and is kind; love does not envy (get jealous); love does not parade itself, is not puffed up;
5  does not behave rudely, does not seek its own (not selfish), is not provoked (easily angered), thinks no evil;
6  does not rejoice in iniquity (doesn’t delight in evil), but rejoices in the truth;
7  bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
8  Love never fails. But whether there are prophecies, they will fail; whether there are tongues, they will cease; whether there is knowledge, it will vanish away.
9  For we know in part and we prophesy in part.
10  But when that which is perfect has come, then that which is in part will be done away.
11  When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things.
12  For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known.
13  And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.

To be honest, we’re all desperate for that kind of love, the problem is we human beings perceive LOVE differently. We tend to think real love is something we need to get from someone else, but the truth is LOVE is something we get into when we’re aware that we ARE loved, and when we’re in LOVE (in God) we’re going to be so full of love, we’ll love EVERYONE. You know something my friends, when we’re loving like Jesus, then the whole world is ripe to receive that love too. Give it away; freely you have received, freely give.

May you experience REAL LOVE this weekend my friends, let’s continue to pray for the family, friends and folks who knew and loved Jo Cox, MP. Amen!

Don.

NOTE: Here’s An Outline of 1 John.

It’s amazing when some people think they can know God without ever reading the Bible, but apart from the person of Jesus Christ, there is no other way to really KNOW what God is like. John reveals three awesome things about God in His letter. God is; light, love and life. Read it, know God, know LOVE and have life.

I. God Is Light ( 1 John 1:5 ), 1 John 1:1 through 1John 2:2

A. Prologue, 1 John 1:1-2

B. How the Little Children May Have Fellowship with God, 1 John 1:3 through 1 John 2:2

1 . By Walking in Light, 1 John 1:3-7
2. By Confessing Sin, 1 John 1:8-10
3. By the Advocacy of Christ, 1 John 2:1-2

II. God Is Love ( 1 John 4:8 ), 1 John 2:3 through 1 John 4:21

A. How the Dear Children May Have Fellowship with Each Other, 1 John 2:3-14
(By Walking in Love)
B. The Dear Children Must Not Love the World, 1 John 2:15-28
C. How the Dear Children May Know Each Other and Live Together, 1 John 2:29
through 1 John 4:21
1. The Father’s Love for His Children, 1 John 2:29 through 1 John 3:3
2. The Two Natures of the Believer in Action, 1 John 3:4-24
3. Warning Against False Teachers, 1 John 4:1-6
4. God Is Love: Little Children Will Love Each Other, 1 John 4:7-21

III. God Is Life ( 1 John 5:12 ), 1 John 5

A. Victory Over the World, 1 John 5:1-5
B. Assurance of Salvation, 1 John 5:6-21

 

Preaching True Repentance

The ingredients of true repentance

Daily Spirit & Word: 725:

TRUE REPENTANCE: Not Just Saying “Sorry” to God.

True Repentance Is NOT Just Saying “Sorry”…

True Repentance Is A Requirement For: Salvation from,  Forgiveness for and Cleansing From Sin.

KNOW THE TRUTH & THE TRUTH SHALL SET YOU FREE

Mark 6:12-13 (NIV)
12  They went out and preached that people should repent.
13  They drove out many demons and anointed many sick people with oil and healed them.

I was so touched last night when out sharing the Good News of Jesus in West Norwood with David and Ben. For a change we ventured just up from our church to West Norwood Train Station and began engaging those returning from a day’s work as they exited the entrance. Of course many people after a day’s toil were tired and just wanted to get home, put their feet up and watch TV or whatever else they planned to do. But we did get into some great conversations. Ben and David talked with a Muslim woman for over half and hour, and all that time I was talking to a couple of young ladies.

It was amazing, because I began by giving them one of our little tracts, The Million Pound Note: I asked them, “If it was real, what would you do with it?” One of them immediately said, “I give half of it away to the poor”… I said, “WOWzer! What a nice lady you are”. I asked her friend, “What would you do with it?” She said, “I’d go on a holiday, then buy a nice house”… then her friend said, “We could go away together”… They were really nice young ladies. I said, “flip it over and look at the Million Pound Question”. One of them did and read it out loud, “Would you sell one of your eyes for £1,000,000?” She said, “No way. My eyes are too valuable”… I said, that’s amazing. Her friend also confirmed she wouldn’t sell one of her eyes either.

Then we moved on to the value of their Eternal Soul.

What followed was a bit of to and fro about; the SOUL, Eternity, Heaven, Hell, Sin, etc…

I was able to share the whole Gospel with them and finally led to the question: “If God were to judge you tonight, according to His standards revealed in His Commandments, would you go to heaven or hell?”

Their heads hung low and they went a bit quiet, “Hell” they both answered.

I asked, “Does that concern you?” One said, “Yes” and the other said, “No, because God is a forgiving God”…

I said, “You are right, God is a forgiving God, but it’s not automatic”… “It doens’t just happen, God doesn’t say, “Oh, I know you’ve sinned, but it’s OK, you just come on in anyway”… I explained, “God can’t do that, because as well as being; full of mercy, kindness, goodness, forgiveness and gentleness, He’s also a just Judge and must punish sin. He can’t in His Justice just let sinners off with their sins”.

The Good Earthly Judge: I then gave them an example of a good earthly judge, who with a guilty criminal before him, no matter how sorry he is, must give the punishment or fine that the LAW requires. They agreed, criminals need to be punished for their crimes. I explained that God will also punish our sin. One lie will keep us out of Heaven forever, because sin contaminates the soul, and no sin contaminated soul can enter into Heaven. “Can you imagine what Heaven would be like if it was full or murderers and liars?”

So I asked them again, “Will you go to Heaven or Hell?” They had now stopped trying to justify themselves, but said instead, “Well, that means nobody can go to Heaven”BOOM! “You’ve got it ladies, that’s right, because ALL HAVE SINNED, just ONE sin will keep us out of Heaven forever.”

Then I asked, “Do you know what God has done so that no one need end up in Hell?” They said they didn’t, but I inquired further, “Christians all over the world have just celebrated Easter. Have you heard about Jesus? How He died upon a Cross? How Jesus rose again three days later on the first Easter Sunday?” It was like I just brought them out of a dark dungeon into the full light of the sun, because they both smiled, “It was because of Jesus death”. I said, “That’s right ladies, Jesus died so that we could go to Heaven and be forgiven and cleansed from sin to be made fit for heaven. His blood purifies us from all sin. He died for you and me.”

One of them said, “So does that mean everyone just ends up in heaven then?”

I said, “NO, Not quite, something is required from us, we must first Believe and TRUST in Jesus death in our place for our sin, then we need to Confess (own up and accept we are sinners) and REPENT of our sinful ways of living, then we must RECEIVE Jesus as our Lord and Saviour.” I explained what happens when we do that and how Jesus gives us a NEW HEART and NEW LIFE and NEW DESIRES… i.e. The Commandments are not prohibitions any more “Don’t Do this or Don’t do that”, but they become for those who’ve trusted in Jesus, wonderful promises; “You shall not want to steal, kill, lie, cheat, argue, hate, lust or commit adultery any more”… God changes our desires.

One of them smiled again and said jokingly “So that means no more illegal downloads of music then?”

What followed was an explanation of what life is like from now on as a believer….

  • They wanted to know how I became a follower of Jesus,
  • They wanted to know more about church,
  • They wanted to wait until they were ready,
  • They wanted an excuse to remain in sin,
  • They still had lots of questions they wanted to ask,

It was an amazing conversation, but it ended with me saying, “Look I know you’ve got lots more questions, but do you have a Bible at home?” They both had Bibles at home they had never read…   I said, “Go home and open your own Bible in Matthew, Mark, Luke or John and read about Jesus life and His message. Check out if what I’m saying to you is TRUE from what the Bible says. Then remember what I’ve said, “You must turn from your sin to trust in Jesus and receive Him as your King”

Then if you want to, come and join us (I pointed to our Church) you’d be more than welcome any Sunday at 10.30am. It was so encouraging one of the young ladies said, “I’m going to come to your church”… I also encouraged them to come on our Alpha Course to ask all their questions.

But I gave them this final warning, “We don’t know how long we’ve got left on this earth” I told them about Anja who’d come because I’d met her in the street and shared about Jesus, and how her baby had died unexpectedly. We just don’t know how long we’ve got before we can come to God for forgiveness and cleansing to make us fit for heaven. I said the Bible encourages us to think like this, “Today is the Day of Salvation: Repent and Believe the Good News”…. Ladies, believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and Repent today.

I finished by thanking them, gave them another of our little cards that reads, “Thank you for listening” it’s got a picture of a cute dog with big ears and a summary of the conversation we’d just had on the back.

We shook hands warmly and they thanked me as we parted company.

What is TRUE REPENTANCE? (SEE BELOW).

I was reading all about it this morning and came across an old Puritan teaching the outlines what ‘real’ repentance is like: Read it below and then ask yourself this question: “Have I ‘truly’ repented of my sins and trusted in Jesus Christ as my Lord?” Have an AWESOME Thursday with Jesus.

Please Pray: We had many conversations last night, I’ve only shared one of them, please will you pray for everyone who was encouraged, challenged and witnessed with last night? Pray that the Lord Jesus, by His Holy Spirit, will continued to draw them to Himself and that they’ll find GRACE to repent and believe the Good News.

Challenge: Keep Witnessing: The Lord’s Followers will be strengthened and encouraged in many ways by taking the initiative to witness for Him with all their family, friends, neighbours and those they come in contact with regularly, those who know you are His followers. Be kind, generous, gentle, bold, passionate and compassionate. May the LORD fill you afresh with Holy Spirit anointing. Amen!

Don.

 

THE INGREDIENTS OF TRUE REPENTANCE:

Mark 6:12-13 (NIV)
12  They went out and preached that people should repent.
13  They drove out many demons and anointed many sick people with oil and healed them.

When we make a cake it needs the right ingredients to taste great. We follow recipes for successful and tasty cakes. To discover what true repentance looks, tastes and feels like, there are Biblical recipes to follow too.

These final two verses are from Mark’s account of Jesus sending out The TWELVE (Mark 6:7-13). The two verses summarize the specifics of the 12 Apostles’ mission. It mirrors what they had seen Jesus do. With His authority and enablement, they cast out many demons. They anointed with oil many who were sick and healed them (cf. Jas 5:14-16). They went out and preached repentance, the same message preached by both John the Baptist (Mark 1:4) and Jesus ( Mark 1:15). They were to go as servants. They were not to compromise their message even if it brought rejection and persecution. They had to have the courage to tell the truth about Jesus and the gospel.

If “repentance” was the first word out of the mouth of John the Baptist, The Lord Jesus Christ, and the 12 Apostles (Acts 2:38), then it must be an important component of the true gospel message today and it marks the starting point of the true Christian life.

Thomas Watson, and Old English Puritan (ca. 1620-1686), wrote a helpful treatise on repentance. He stated, “Repentance is a grace of God’s Spirit whereby a sinner is inwardly humbled and visibly reformed” [Watson, Doctrine, 18]….

Watson identified six ingredients necessary for true repentance.

The first is sight of sin, whereby a person comes to themselves (Luke 15:17) and clearly views their lifestyle as sinful. If a disciple fails to see their sin, they are rarely motivated to repent…. (That’s why we take time to show people how they’ve sinned against God by using His Ten Commandments: How we’ve all offended a Holy and Righteous God).

The second ingredient for true repentance is sorrow for sin (Ps 38:18). We need to feel the nails of the cross in our soul as we sin. Repentance includes a godly grief, a holy agony (2 Cor 7:10) i.e. “It’s because of my sin those nails pierced the Saviour’s hands”. The fruits of repentance will be expressed in genuine, anguishing sorrow over the offense itself and not just its consequences. This sorrow for sin is more than just a “worldly grief”; it will be seen in the ongoing actions it produces (the fruit of repentance is a changed life).

The third ingredient is confession of sin. The humble sinner voluntarily passes judgment on themselves as they sincerely admit to the specific sins of their heart…. In the Scriptures, we find at least seven benefits to confession:

  • Confession of sin gives glory to God (Josh 7:19).
  • Confession of sin is a means to humble the soul (2 Chr 26:19).
  • Confession of sin gives release to a troubled heart (Ps 51:11-12).
  • Confession of sin purges out sin (Neh 3:13). Augustine called it “the expeller of vice.”
  • Confession of sin endears Christ to the soul that needs atoning (Rom 7:25).
  • Confession of sin makes way for forgiveness (2 Sam 12:13; 1 John 1:9).
  • Confession of sin makes way for mercy (Prov 28:13).

The fourth ingredient of true repentance is shame for sin: True Repentance causes a holy bashfulness or embarrassment, i.e. it is the shame you feel when your inadequacy or guilt is made public. The Prophet Ezra prayed, “O my God, I am ashamed and blush to lift my face to You, my God, for our iniquities have risen higher than our heads, and our guilt has mounted up to the heavens” (Ezra 9:6). The repenting prodigal was so ashamed of his sin that he did not feel he deserved to be a son anymore (Luke 15:21). It’s like our Sin makes us feel shamefully naked and deformed in God’s eyes and puts Christ to shame, the one who took the scorn of the cross on himself. I’ve often feelt ashamed when I’ve been confronted by my sinfulness in the presence of God and when I’m will other believers who are walking closely with Jesus.

The fifth ingredient in true repentance is a sincere hatred of sin: We must hate our sin to the core. We hate sin more deeply when we love Jesus more fully.

Repentance begins with the love of God and ends with hatred of sin…. Tolerating sin is a willful leap toward committing it. True repentance loathes sin deeply.

Finally, the sixth progressive ingredient of true repentance is turning from sin and returning to the Lord “with all your heart” (Joel 2:12). This turning from sin implies a notable change in the ways we live, “performing deeds in keeping with their repentance” (Acts 26:20). Ezekiel records these words of God to the house of Israel: “Repent and turn away from your idols, and turn away your faces from all your abominations” (Ezek 14:6).

We are called to turn away from all our abominations—not just the obvious ones or the ones that create friction in others. The goal, end, destination or finish-line of true repentance is not to manufacture peace among others with perfunctory repentance, but rather to turn to God with all your heart, mind, soul and strength.

Most importantly, though, this repentance is not just a turning away from sin; it is also a turning “of repentance toward God and faith in our Lord Jesus” (Acts 20:21). [We should repent of our] doubt by believing in the goodness, greatness and graciousness of God, and [turning] in faith to trust in the freedom the Lord Jesus Christ offers to each one of us in the Gospel. Repentance is rooted in a hatred of sin and a joyful awareness of God’s loving-kindness, which leads to joy: “God’s kindness is intended to lead you to repentance” (Rom 2:4). We rejoice that Christ has done everything for us—all that we need to secure our salvation and our growth in holiness.

Christ’s Warning: Repent or Perish: “Unless you repent, you too will perish”

Luke 13:3 (NIV) “I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish.”

  • Why do ‘modern’ churches hate to teach on repentance?
  • What’s wrong with preaching repentance?

Answer: NOTHING: Because true repentance is one of the KEYS to unlock HEAVEN. (Only Satan would hate a Christian telling people to REPENT).

The man-pleasing, modern, self-indulgent church has bent God’s KEY out of shape. Let’s straighten it and do what Christ has commanded: Preach Repentance.

PRAYER: “Lord,  I am an adopted child, not a slave to sin. I was a sinner by now, by Your Grace and Mercy, I am a Saint. I know the TRUTH and in knowing the truth I have been set free. Thank You LORD Jesus Christ, because I am accepted because of Your sacrifice upon the Cross. Please Lord, help me never to forget how much You have demonstrated Your love for me or how loved, secure, rich and free I am when I put my trust in You, my Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.”

 

What is the Second Death?

The Lake of Fire and The Second Death

Daily Spirit & Word: 699: The Fear Of Death.

The Second Death = The Lake of Fire.

A few days ago I wrote about the second of seven letters to churches in Revelation, the one to Smyrna, present day Izmir in Turkey. At the end of that short letter was the theme “The Second Death” which I didn’t touch upon. The Second Death is the major theme of the whole book of Revelation.

Remember that Jesus has nothing bad to say about that Church in Smyrna, can you imagine Jesus having nothing bad to say about you? Anyway, there is an encouragement to overcome, and if you overcome there is no fear of the ‘Second Death’.

One thing I know for sure is this, “Everybody wants to go to Heaven, but nobody wants to die”… Until death is looming, nobody really gives it a second thought.

Here’s a nice song from Alison Krauss listen as you read.

Questions: What is the “Second Death”? and what does it mean to “Overcome”? “How can I be sure that I will not taste the second death?”

Revelation 2:8-11 (NIV)
8 “To the angel of the church in Smyrna write: These are the words of him who is the First and the Last, who died and came to life again.
9  I know your afflictions and your poverty—yet you are rich! I know the slander of those who say they are Jews and are not, but are a synagogue of Satan.
10  Do not be afraid of what you are about to suffer. I tell you, the devil will put some of you in prison to test you, and you will suffer persecution for ten days. Be faithful, even to the point of death, and I will give you the crown of life.
11  He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. He who overcomes will not be hurt at all by the second death.

What is the Second Death?

Well the first death is what we all go through. It’s a fact that 10 out of 10 people die. Unless of course Jesus returns before you die. We’re all going to die. Many / most people are quietly getting along with their lives today, not giving their first death a second thought. Most people burry their heads in the sand like the proverbial Ostrich, pretending there is no danger…

“Bury Your Head In The Sand:”

This comes from the supposed habit of ostriches hiding when faced with attack by predators. The story was first recorded by the Roman writer Pliny the Elder, who suggested that ostriches hide their heads in bushes. Ostriches don’t hide, either in bushes or sand, although they do sometimes lie on the ground to make themselves inconspicuous. The ‘burying their head in the sand’ myth is likely to have originated from people observing them lowering their heads when feeding.

The notion is that the supposedly dumb ostrich believes that if it can’t see its attacker then the attacker can’t see it.

I’ve observed that in two year old toddlers, who think that when they hide their face or eyes you can’t see them. My grandson Karamoko loves the game of hiding things and me pretending I don’t know where it is.

People are a bit like that Ostrich though, they pretend to themselves that they are never going to die.

I’ve heard a lot of Pop Songs with that theme in them… “I’m going to live forever…” Most young soldiers don’t believe they are going to die. The Royal Marines believe they are the “Crem-de-la-Crem” of fighting forces, that’s drummed into young recruits, it helps them to believe they are invincible and will not die.

So if people are not scared by the prospect of the first death, why would they ever be afraid of the second death?

Jesus warned people about the Second Death.

Matthew 10:28 (NIV) “Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell.”

Your soul is eternal, it cannot be killed, it will never die. It’s part of you that lingers from God’s Original Creation: Adam and Eve were made to live forever, God didn’t intend for them to die, ever, but because they sinned against God’s Command, Death came into Creation and Adam and Eve eventually died physically, but their soul lives on to this day. Every human being since Adam and Eve have been infected with the same disease called sin, and it’s because of sin that human beings die. However, that first death is not the end, there is a kind of second death, the death of the soul in Hell. It doesn’t mean that even there we cease to exist, but we are as good a dead eternally in a place that’s been reserved only for Satan and His army of Demons, fallen angels. No human being was ever intended by God to go to Hell forever, in fact that’s why God sent His Son Jesus into this world, to save mankind, so that no one would ever end up in Hell. The only people who will taste the second death in hell are those who die in their sins, those who’s sins have not been washed away by the blood of Jesus Christ.

You see my friends, it’s Sin that brings the first death and sin that brings the second death. If we die still contaminated with sin in our life, then God cannot allow us to contaminate His Holy Heaven.

Rotten Chicken:

I love the illustration of this: You buy some bits of chicken from the Supermarket, six pieces of Chicken breast are ok, but one bit of chicken smells a bit off. You ask your wife to have a sniff and she confrims, “It smells off”… Would you then put that piece of chicken in the fridge with the good pieces of chicken? Of course not! Why? Because it would “CONTAMINATE” the other good bits of chicken. My friends, it just makes sense that God will not allow a contaminated sinner to enter His Holy Heaven, because we’d contaminate Heaven.

Jesus The Just Judge:

Jesus will not allow a sinner into Heaven because He is also a Just Judge.

Most people think that the Second Death is nothing to worry about. They believe they’ll go to Heaven because God is loving and kind and will forgive them in the end. But what does Jesus say? “be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell.” BE AFRAID… It’s healthy to have such a fear of Jesus / God that we’re ready to repent of our sins. Because one day, Judgement is coming. Be sure of that my friends.  Hebrews 9:27 (NIV) “Just as man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgement,…”

Jesus is the just judge and He’s not going to allow any sinful person into Heaven. How do we know this?

The Second Death:

It is a scary prospect. Having a healthy fear of death and the second death is good for your eternal soul.

Check to BE SURE: “Are YOU in The Faith”?

My friends, when was the last time you checked to BE SURE, BE CERTAIN, to KNOW that you are in the FAITH of Christ?

2 Corinthians 13:5-6 (NIV) Examine Yourself.
5  Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realise that Christ Jesus is in you—unless, of course, you fail the test? 6  And I trust that you will discover that we have not failed the test.

Recently I had an appointment with the Doctor, it was a routine exam for men over 50. A kind of MOT to examine me to make sure I was fit or not. It’s good for Christians who believe they are saved to check now and again to be SURE and CERTAIN that they are walking with Christ today as they did when they first trusted Him as Lord.

Paul says, “Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith”… Notice he says it twice: “Examine yourself” then “Test yourselves”… That tells me we can be deceived. We can fool ourselves. Just like those who act like the proverbial ostrich who pretend they are not going to die, some people so love ‘religion’ they’ll fool themselves into believing they are Christians when they are not. They are what the Bible calls “FALSE CONVERTS”… or “Wolves in Sheep’s Clothing”… They look and act like sheep, like God’s flock, but they are not converted, they are not born again, they are not one with Christ, they don’t have Christ as Lord or as the Good Shepherd of their lives. FALSE CONVERTS sometimes don’t know they are false, that’s why Paul encouraged the Corinthians to check to see if they are in the faith. Are you sure you are in the faith of Jesus Christ?

Here’s HOW to be sure you’ll not taste the SECOND DEATH.

Here’s HOW to be CERTAIN you’ll pass from death to life.

Here’s HOW to be sure and certain you are IN the Faith of Jesus Christ.

A) Acknowledge you have sinned and broken God’s Commandments. This is crucial to beginning a walk of faith with Jesus. Acknowledging that you are a sinner. That you know everyone who has sinned will be condemned to Hell because they’ve broken God’s Commandments and have become contaminated with sin. That God will never allow a contaminated sinner into his holy heaven.

How have we sinned? We’ve broken God’s Commandments.

The Ten Commandments: Exodus 20:2-17.

  1. You shall have no other gods before Me.
  2. You shall not make idols.
  3. You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain.
  4. Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.
  5. Honour your father and your mother.
  6. You shall not murder.
  7. You shall not commit adultery.
  8. You shall not steal.
  9. You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
  10. You shall not covet.

1 Corinthians 6:8-11 (NIV)
8  Instead, you yourselves cheat and do wrong, and you do this to your brothers.
9  Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders
10  nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.
11  And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.

Acknowledging that you have sinned is the first step to Salvation.

Romans 3:22-24 (NIV)
22  This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference,
23  for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,
24  and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.

B) Repent: Turn away from sin. Sin is rebellion against God. It’s living life your own way (DIY)… Frank Sinatra “I did it my way”… Notice his second name “SINatra”… It’s sinful to live your life as if God doesn’t exist. When you live your life as if God’s not real or as if He’ll just wink at your sin and let you into heaven is only fooling yourself. Every sinner will be punished forever in Hell. But God doesn’t want that, He wants you to turn and be forgiven for every sin.  2 Peter 3:9 (NIV) “The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.”

Unless you repent you will perish in Hell.

Luke 13:3 (NIV) “I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish.”
Luke 13:5 (NIV) “I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish.”

Jesus said it twice… Repent or Perish in Hell.

The real idea behind REPENTANCE: is to have a strong desire to begin to live God’s way instead of your own way. To live a righteous and holy life from now on. It’s to have a desire to be ‘good’. We don’t have the power yet to be good, but it wanting to live like Jesus that God is looking for. Do you have that desire today?

C) Confess: Confess your sins to Jesus. Don’t just admit you’ve sinned, tell Jesus how you’ve sinned. How you’ve broken His commandments: The lies you’ve told, the things you’ve stolen, the lusts you’ve had, the things you’ve been coveting, how you’ve been disobedient to your parents, how you’ve not put God first in your life. Confess those sins to Jesus.

D) Receive Jesus Christ As Your Lord:

As soon as you believe in Jesus, Admit you’ve sinned, Repent of your sins and Confess your sins to Jesus, then you are ready to RECEIVE Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour. He’ll come into your life and make you into a new person. You’ll become a saint: Sanctified and set apart by God the Holy Spirit. You’ll receive the gift of the Holy Spirit and that will enable you to live the full and abundant life that Jesus promised to all who received Him as Lord. John 10:10.

Now receive Jesus by faith: “Lord Jesus Christ, I come to you, I believe that you died upon the cross for all my sins. I acknowledge that I have sinned by breaking your Commandments, I know that if I don’t receive your forgiveness I’m doomed to spend eternity in Hell. I know it would be the just punishment and penalty for all my sins. I repent of all my sin, I turn away from living my life for myself and want to live from this day forward for You. I believe that when you died upon that Cross You died in my place taking my punishment and paid the price for my sins. Today I receive you as my Lord and Saviour. Please come into my life as Lord and send the Holy Spirit to give me the New Birth. Help me to live every day from now on for You Lord Jesus. Amen!

The Second Death:

The Second Death is the Lake of Fire: Reserved for Satan and all who die in their sins.

Revelation 20:14-15 (NIV)
14  Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. The lake of fire is the second death.
15  If anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.

My friends, the Second Death holds no fear for those who have tested themselves to ensure they are in the faith of Jesus Christ, they have crossed over already from Death to Life Eternal.

John 3:36 (NIV) “Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on him.”

The Real Danger:

The DANGER is that there are some who say “I believe in Jesus” as if that is enough to ensure Heaven. It’s NOT, because even the Devil believes in Jesus. Simple “Belief” is not the same as SAVING FAITH. You need to also; Repent and Receive Jesus as Lord of your life. You’ll know if you’ve done that if you’ve received the Holy Spirit and the fruit of the Spirit is growing in your life today. i.e. You have more peace today than you did when you first believed in Jesus. More; love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. These are the fruits of a holy life with Jesus in the power of the Holy Spirit.

2 Corinthians 6:1-2 (NIV) “As God’s fellow-workers we urge you not to receive God’s grace in vain. 2  For he says, “In the time of my favour I heard you, and in the day of salvation I helped you.” I tell you, now is the time of God’s favour, now is the day of salvation.” “Repent or Perish”…

If You’ve Failed The Test:

“What happens if I fail the test, if I’m not in the faith of Jesus Christ?”

If you say you “Believe in Jesus” but your life has not changed, there are no obvious fruits of repentance, then you’ve probably failed the TEST of 2 Corinthians 13:5-6 (above). Keep believing in Jesus, but also; confess your sins, turn from sin in repentance and receive Jesus Christ as Lord. Because once your receive Him you will be Born Again:  John 1:12-13 (NIV) “Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God— 13  children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.”

Once you are Born Again you will begin to produce the fruit of repentance, the fruit of the Holy Spirit and the power of the Holy Spirit will be evident in you as you live for Jesus.

  • Once you KNOW Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour.
  • Once you KNOW you’ve been born of the Spirit.

Then (And ONLY then) the Second Death is nothing at all to worry about, because you are ONE of those who have already overcome. Praise the Lord! Your salvation is not dependent upon your own goodness, but the goodness of Jesus Christ living in you. John 15. If you receive Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour after repenting and believing in Him, then your name will be written in the Lamb’s book of life.

What’s sobering for me on this Monday morning is this: If anyone’s name is NOT in the Lamb’s book of life, then they will be thrown into the lake of fire and experience the second death with Satan and all His Demons forever. That’s a horrific thought, God doesn’t want anyone to perish and no one in their right minds would want anyone to spend eternity in the Lake of fire. Let’s snatch as many as we can from the flames licking at their feet. Who do you know who isn’t SAVED yet? Share the Gospel, the Good News of Jesus with them soon.

Today is the DAY of Salvation.

Have an AWESOME week with Jesus.

Don’t FEAR the Second Death if you are IN Jesus.

Be sure and certain your own name is written in the Lamb’s book of life.

Trust in Jesus Christ today.

Don.

 

Get Your Personal Revelation Of Jesus

Revelation Jesus Christ

Daily Spirit & Word: 688: “Don’t Be Afraid, It’s Me, Jesus”

You Need: “A Personal Revelation Of Jesus.”

Good morning my friends, well, it was a FALSE ALARM, Stephanie is still waiting and so are we, the baby didn’t come last night. Ahhh… It won’t be long though! You know that WAITING on something helps us to learn to be PATIENT.

Today we’re back with Revelation and John is describing the Vision that he had of Jesus. The words that John used to describe his vision of Jesus reveal that Lord in Heaven looks like: A King in Splendour, A High Priest and A Judge.

Revelation 1:12-18 (NIV)
12  I turned round to see the voice that was speaking to me. And when I turned I saw seven golden lampstands,
13  and among the lampstands was someone “like a son of man”, dressed in a robe reaching down to his feet and with a golden sash round his chest.
14  His head and hair were white like wool, as white as snow, and his eyes were like blazing fire.
15  His feet were like bronze glowing in a furnace, and his voice was like the sound of rushing waters.
16  In his right hand he held seven stars, and out of his mouth came a sharp double-edged sword. His face was like the sun shining in all its brilliance.
17  When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. Then he placed his right hand on me and said: “Do not be afraid. I am the First and the Last.
18  I am the Living One; I was dead, and behold I am alive for ever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and Hades.

When John, who was “In The Spirit” heard the thunderous / trumpet like sound, he’s telling us what we’d all instinctively do; He turned to see who it was that was speaking so loudly. This is reminiscent of the rumbling thunderous sound that Moses and the People of Israel heard when the Lord was on the Mountain and Moses ascended to receive the Ten Commandments. Of course we know it was the SAME voice speaking. In contrast it’s different from the “Small Quiet Voice” King David heard.

The Seven Golden Lampstands: Remind us of the Tabernacle with it’s golden lampstand and Seven lamps that were meant to be lit every day by the Priest. Here in Revelation we’ll see that they represent Seven Churches, but even those churches are representative of every Church / Christian down through the ages. (See Also: Exodus 25:31-32, 37). You’ll note that the Lampstand in the Tabernacle on Earth was just one with seven lamps on top, this lampstand represented the Unity of the Tribes of Israel. However, in Heaven they are individual Lampstands and they represent Churches in Heaven. We are to keep shining our light for Jesus Christ in this world, our light is shining in Heaven too.

The Son of Man: “Someone “Like A SON of Man””… We know from both the Old Testament and Jesus own revelation in the Gospels that this is Jesus. He was God whilst he was on the Earth, but He looked just like everybody else, like the son of an ordinary man. i.e. John is telling us, though He looked like a human being, there was something very different about Him. We’ll see that too, because how many ordinary men do you see carrying Stars in their hands or having a sword coming out of their mouth and feet like molten hot metal or a face as bright as the sun in all it’s brilliance? Ezekiel 1:26 and Daniel 7:31. However, Jesus is in Heaven just like a human being. He’s like us but very different. He’s the same Jesus who walked and talked and touched unclean people to make them whole again. He’s the same Jesus who’s hands were pierced by nails. However, we’re going to see He’s also very different in Heaven.

The Dress of the Son of Man: “dressed in a robe reaching down to his feet and with a golden sash round his chest.” Who else do we know who dresses like that? Of course it’s the High Priest and Kings. The Golden Sash is like the Priest’s Girdle which was worn high and under his breast. The Gold represents Royalty.

Jesus is not just sitting on a Throne in Heaven: He’s our Great Hight Priest and Our Advocate (Lawyer) with the Father (1 John 2:1) I read somewhere that, “In Heaven Jesus is doing more for us every day, than He did for us upon the Cross” I know that sounds strange, but Jesus is continually coming before the Father on your behalf. He’s the High Priest and His Sacrifice upon the Cross is a constant reminder in Heaven that He paid the price of all your sins. Now He pleads your cause with the Father. That’s how we can approach the Throne with boldness, we’re completely covered in the Righteousness of Christ.

White Hair and Blazing Eyes: Those eyes sound so scary don’t they. I’ve seen movies with creatures with blazing eyes, but the LORD’S blazing eyes are eyes that can SEE everything. He knows everything. His Holy Eyes are on FIRE.

NOTE: John is describing the whole person: His clothes, His movement (Amongst the Golden Lampstands) What Jesus is holding: Stars (He’s the Creator of the Universe and holds all things and keeps all things. Jesus continually keeps Creation in check. His maintenance of His Creation is continual). He describes his face, his hair, his eyes, his mouth… WOWzer! John wants you and me to know EXACTLY what he saw, and was instructed by the Lord Jesus Christ to write it down.

NOTE: Even though John falls down on his face, Jesus reaches out and touches him

Revelation 1:17-18.
17  When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. Then he placed his right hand on me and said: “Do not be afraid. I am the First and the Last. 18  I am the Living One; I was dead, and behold I am alive for ever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and Hades.

Imagine how John must have felt, the same Jesus that he’d been with, ate with, listened to and watched upon the Earth is now Glorified and say those words to John “Do not be afraid”. It reminds me of Jesus words to the Disciples who were afraid when they saw Jesus walking upon the water, “Don’t be afraid, it’s me”… He’s saying the same thing to John here, “John, don’t be scared, it’s me, yes I’m different looking, but it’s me”…

He lives, He lives, Christ Jesus lives today!
He walks with me and talks with me along life’s narrow way.
He lives, He lives, salvation to impart!
You ask me how I know He lives?
He lives within my heart.

Jesus tells John “I AM the first and the last, I AM the Living One; I was dead, and behold I AM alive for ever and ever”…

WOWzer again! Jesus is ALIVE in Heaven: He’s not some ghost or spectre, He really is LIVING, ALIVE and today people on the Earth can truly know and experience the Living Christ.

It was awesome the first time I knew that Jesus was alive. It was before I was a Christian, before I ever submitted to Him as my Lord. It was 1984, I’d been attending church in order to get my child baptised. I didn’t want anything for myself, but if this God was real, I wanted the best for my child. I was shocked, frightened and startled to discover that Jesus Christ really is ALIVE and Knows all about me. I knew Jesus was alive, but it took me a long while to come to Him in Faith and Repentance and to receive Him as Lord of my life. It took about a month after my first revelation, but I knew Jesus was alive. When I received Him as my Lord, I was in no doubt whatsoever what I was doing. Peace and Joy flooded my being, when Jesus was in me, it was as if the whole earth had been renewed. I saw things in a very different way and appreciated the smell of wet mud, it was beautiful to me.

My friends, just like John, Paul, Peter and countless thousands of others, you too can MEET the Living One: The one who was dead and is ALIVE for ever and ever. When you get your own personal revelation, that you KNOW Jesus as Lord, Saviour, Master, Friend, you will NEVER doubt. Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God. My own faith sprang to life when I heard Jesus being preached, I KNEW He was alive and real long before I submitted to Him as Lord. Don’t leave it too long before you say to Jesus, “I know you died upon the Cross for my sins, I repent and ask forgiveness and receive You Jesus as my Lord”…

My friends, do you know that becoming a Christian today, as it has always been, is not about coming to church, getting baptised etc, it’s all about coming to Jesus Christ. Knowing that He’s alive and submitting to Him as Lord of your life. Then going to church will be your delight. Missing church is a heartache for someone who really KNOWS Jesus. Because, we KNOW that when we gather together with other brothers and sisters in God’s Family, Christ Jesus Himself comes into our midst in wonderful ways. When you KNOW HIM, you are in Him and He’s in you. So don’t get religious get Jesus. Turn now in repentance and faith and trust Jesus as your Saviour today.

Have a great day; The words that jump out to me today are “Don’t be afraid, it’s me, Jesus”…

Don.

P.S. I’m singing this great old Hymn now. It’s one that’s touched my life so many times. It’s OLD but brilliant.

He LIVES: “I Serve A Risen Saviour”.

I serve a risen Saviour
He’s in the world today.
I know that He is living,
Whatever men may say.
I see His hand of mercy;
I hear His voice of cheer;
And just the time I need Him
He’s always near.

Chorus:
He lives, He lives, Christ Jesus lives today!
He walks with me and talks with me along life’s narrow way.
He lives, He lives, salvation to impart!
You ask me how I know He lives?
He lives within my heart.

2

In all the world around me
I see His loving care,
And though my heart grows weary,
I never will despair;
I know that He is leading,
Through all the stormy blast;
The day of His appearing
Will come at last.

3

Rejoice, rejoice, O Christian,
Lift up your voice and sing
Eternal hallelujahs
To Jesus Christ the King!
The Hope of all who seek Him,
The Help of all who find,
None other is so loving,
So good and kind.

Fear NOT for I AM with you

The presence of God takes away FEAR

Daily Spirit & Word: 644: Good News: Great Joy.

#AdventChallenge #Actsofkindness

Luke 2:10-11 
10  But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.
11  Today in the town of David a Saviour has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord.

What an AWESOME message from Heaven.

An Angel speaking to a group of shepherds.

First: Don’t Be Afraid.

Normally, when people see an Angel they fall down to the ground. They are dumbstruck. How would you be? I think I would be a bit scared if an Angel suddenly appeared to me. I think the Shepherds would have needed that message, “Don’t be afraid”…

Many times Jesus said, “Don’t be afraid”… and God in the Old Testament…

It seems to me, we live in a world that IS afraid and fear is the No1 stealer of your PEACE.

  • Fear of Terrorists.
  • Fear of Loosing your job.
  • Fear of marriage / relationship breakdown.
  • Fear of LACK of finances for the family.
  • Fear of getting ill, sickness and disease.
  • Fear of Nature: Storms, Global Warming.
  • Fear of other people; Open Spaces: Knife Crime makes youngsters afraid of going out at night in London. or out of their areas. 

FEAR is Crippling:

Only yesterday, I met a man who was AFRAID of his neighbours.

But Jesus said, the Angels said and God has said, “Do NOT be afraid, be of good courage”…

Fear NOT what man can do to you.

Today: I’m going to walk in God’s FREEDOM FROM FEAR.

Help someone today, be NICE to every stranger you meet.

Say “Hello” or “Hi” to a STRANGER today.

My father-in-law was a Sales Manager for Nestles in the UK: He said to his team, “Tell your salesmen, A smile provokes a smile, and they’ll see it’s true”… I listened to my father-in-law: It is TRUE…

It’s amazing when you “Smile”: A smile provokes a smile.

 🙂  “A Smile Provokes A Smile”  😎 

Be Friendly: you’ll see how easy it is for FEAR to subside.

Why Should Christians NOT FEAR?

Because God is WITH us, He’s actually in you, if you are a Christian.

Emmanuel means: God with us.

Isaiah 41:10 “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”

What a thought, every Christian needn’t be AFRAID at all, of anything; Because God is WITH US.

Spread the LOVE: Share Jesus today. Help to take FEAR away by being Unafraid.

#Actsofkindness

Advent Challenge Prayer:

Dear Lord Jesus Christ, please help me today to believe Your promises that You ARE with me, that You will never leave me. So help me LORD not to be afraid. Let me live in Your freedom from all fear. Amen!

Also, Lord Jesus, please help me to spread your LOVE this Advent every single day. Let me be a blessing to others. Help me to take away the FEAR from the lives of other people. Help me to be KIND and Generous every day. Amen!

Don.

Isaiah 41:10 “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”

Bible Society: Advent Challenge

#AdventChallenge #Actsofkindness #BibleSociety #SpiritandWord

 

The Importance of Persevering.

Sharing the Good News with people on the streets of London

Daily Spirit & Word, 627: The Importance Of Persevering:

When Witnessing To Professing Believers In Jesus.

2 Corinthians 12:9 “But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.”

Good morning my friends, it was with great joy we returned from the battle for souls, sharing the Awesome Good News of Jesus on the Streets of West Norwood last night. It is a battle and each encounter leaves you feeling strength has been sapped from you. Our battle is NOT against flesh and blood,  Ephesians 6:11-12 “Put on the full armour of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12  For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.”

But why were we so filled with the joy of the Lord?

Because we won battle after battle last night.

But before we went out, we really took to heart what God’s Word tells us about our need for Jesus and for His strength and power and presence to be in us.  Zechariah 4:6 “… ‘Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,’ says the LORD Almighty.”

Out Of The Darkness: Into The Light:

You know something my friends, sharing Jesus enlightens not only those we share with, but also we ourselves. We come face to face with our motives for witnessing, our heart’s desires and our own shortcomings and limitations. It reminds us afresh just how much we need Jesus and the power of the Holy Spirit in everything we attempt for His glory. We go out in His strength and we come back rejoicing. However, if we were to go in our own strength, in the strength of the flesh, we would have returned with our battle banners trailing in the dirt and our armour stained with blood.

We must go out recognizing our own weakness and lack of ability to do anything unless the Lord goes out with us.

Charles Spurgeon said, “He will only reap that corn, the seed of which was sown from heaven, watered by grace, and ripened by the sun of divine love.” From Spurgeon’s Morning and Evening Devotional for 4th November.

Secondly, we were witnesses of what the Lord was doing in the lives of those we shared with. How He had already prepared people’s hearts for the Gospel last night.

The Gospel really does open the eyes of the blind: for many we met last night professed a belief in Jesus almost immediately, but as we continued to witness, through discernment and the gift of the Holy Spirit, we could see quite clearly they’d gotten into ‘religion’ without coming to a true faith and trust in Jesus Christ. So many had attended church, but had stopped short of going the whole way to trust in Jesus for themselves. However, initially, they were so blinded by their own self-assurance that they didn’t seem concerned at all about their own eternal welfare, thankfully the LORD was and He was ready to open their eyes.

As we chatted, we asked this simple question: “Do you think God will allow you into Heaven?” and to some others, “Have you been good enough to get into Heaven?” to which their answers were a resounding “Oh yes!”. When we asked “Why?” We then knew instantly they were not trusting in Jesus for Salvation, but themselves and their own goodness. More than that, they had a standard of goodness that was far below that of the Lord Jesus Christ. Most thought that their own good deeds would far outweigh their bad deeds and that God would look at their whole life and see they were more good than bad. Sadly we could see they had been trusting in a false Gospel, which gave them a false assurance.

It’s a common misconception amongst church going people today, that if they “try their best”, then God will just wave them through into glory in Heaven. How often have we heard on the streets, “I try my best to be good”… Of course we should try our best, but we should never rely or depend upon our own goodness to get into Heaven.

My friends, Satan loves it when people are kept in the darkness about their spiritual condition before a holy and righteous God. Yes God is loving and forgiving, but He’s also just and in His righteousness, He must punish every single sin. Sin has it’s wages and God is so faithful that He must give sin it’s due. If anyone was to appear before Him, trusting in their own goodness, their good works, He would then simply show them their SIN and turn them away from Heaven. (No SINNER can enter into the Kingdom of God).

Helping People SEE their NEED for Jesus:

So Through The Right Use Of God’s LAW: We, with the inward working of the Holy Spirit, bringing the Conscience back to life, in those we witnessed to, we used God’s LAW (Revealed in the Ten Commandments) to show a person their NEED for Jesus.

Romans 3:9-20
9 What shall we conclude then? Are we any better? Not at all! We have already made the charge that Jews and Gentiles alike are all under sin. (We’ve ALL sinned and fallen short of God’s Glory).
10  As it is written: “There is no-one righteous, not even one; (Nobody is good enough in themselves for Heaven).
11  there is no-one who understands, no-one who seeks God. (We can only come to God if He pulls us to Himself).
12  All have turned away, they have together become worthless; there is no-one who does good, not even one.” (Even the best things that we do are tainted by some kinds of selfish motives).
13  “Their throats are open graves; their tongues practise deceit.” “The poison of vipers is on their lips.”
14  “Their mouths are full of cursing and bitterness.”
15  “Their feet are swift to shed blood;
16  ruin and misery mark their ways,
17  and the way of peace they do not know.”
18  “There is no fear of God before their eyes.”
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. (those who are “under the law” are anybody who is yet to trust in Jesus Christ).
20  Therefore no-one will be declared righteous in his sight by observing the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of sin.

It’s through the LAW of God: The Ten Commandments, that we become CONSCIOUS of our SIN.

i.e. Our Conscience comes back to life again and we can see sin for what it is: rebellion against God.

Let’s just look and see if that’s true?

  • What do you call a person who commits murder? “A Murderer”. How many murders do they need to commit in their lifetime to become a murderer? Just ONE. It’s the same with every other Commandment of God.
  • If we’ve told just one lie in our life, then we’re liars in God’s sight. He’s declared, “No liar can enter into the Kingdom of God”.
  • If we’ve stolen something, no matter what it’s value in the eyes of the world or who we’ve stolen it from, just one act of stealing makes us into a thief. God has declared, “No thief can enter into the Kingdom of God”…
  • Just one act of disobedience by Adam and Eve brought God’s curse of DEATH upon the whole human race and banishment from the Garden of Eden forever.
  • That’s just a few of the commandments: God sees the sin of lust as adultery. Saying “OMG” as Blasphemy. And we all know that no adulterer or blasphemer can enter into God’s Kingdom don’t we?

Every truly born again believer knows that in and of themselves, they are not good enough for Heaven and never will be or can be. Why? Because a converted and Holy Spirit filled person knows that even ONE SIN will keep a person out of Heaven for all eternity. We know that to enter the Kingdom of God we must be cleansed from all sin and made pure, holy and righteous by Jesus. No amount of “trying our best” can remove past sins.

Romans 3:23 “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,”

It’s like getting a Tattoo: it’s the indelible ink-stain of sin that cannot be removed by human actions.

Most People: (Who don’t know the LORD) Initially object that this is too black and white. They state, my god is not like that. I believe in a god that forgives sins. (So do we, but there is only ONE WAY that those sins can be forgiven, and it’s NOT by trying harder to be good enough).

However, what they are actually doing is putting their faith in a god of their own making, the Bible calls that idolatry. It breaks the second of God’s Commandments “Not to make an Idol and bow down to it”. Their idol is a god that just winks at sin like an unjust earthly judge who can be bribed. No my friends, God is much more Holy than everybody realises. The God who inspired Holy Scripture said, “NO SINNER CAN ENTER INTO GOD’S KINGDOM” He cannot wink at sin and just allow people into Heaven with sin still upon their souls. God’s punishment for sin is banishment from Heaven to a place that He’s reserved for the Devil and his Demons.

The Good News:

Thankfully, once a person is fully aware of their spiritual condition, they are in the right place then to receive the Good News of Jesus Christ.

It’s not true, that everyone is aware of how much they’ve sinned. We know that from weekly experience of sharing the Gospel on the streets in London. In fact nearly everyone we meet thinks that deep down they are ‘good enough’ for heaven. It’s only when we take the time with them to gently show them God’s standards of holiness through His Commandments. Those Commands really are like a Schoolmaster who teaches us our need for Jesus cleansing and forgiveness.

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

They are then ready for the Good News of Jesus: That God doesn’t want to punish anyone, but that everyone might be saved by Jesus Christ. It’s why Jesus came into the world: God wants everyone to come to REPENTANCE.

1 Timothy 1:15 “Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners—of whom I am the worst.”

HOW DOES JESUS SAVE SINNERS?

Jesus took the place of every sinner upon the cross. He died in our place. His death sets us free from God’s wrath and anger against sin.

Romans 5:8-9 (Two of my favourite verses in the Bible).
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!

Jesus can save anyone from their sins and deliver them from God’s wrath and anger against sin.

But we must do something to be SET FREE from God’s wrath against our sins.

We must TRUST in Christ’s Death & Turn to Him in Repentance and Faith to Receive Him as Lord.

It like coming to this understanding: “Father God, I know now that I’ve broken Your Commandments and I’ve sinned against You, I’m a sinner in Your sight and deserve Your just punishment for my rebellion. I also know that Jesus Christ, Your One and Only Son, died in my place upon the Cross. I now turn to You Lord Jesus and ask for your forgiveness. I confess my sins to You Lord (Name them) and I turn away from all sin in my life (repentance). I receive You Lord Jesus Christ as my Lord and Saviour. Please Lord, come into my life and give me the promised New Life. Let me be born again by Your Holy Spirit and become a child of God so that I know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that He is my Heavenly Father. Amen”

A person must see and understand: (Even a ‘churchgoing’ or ‘religious’ person).

  • A) That they’ve sinned against God.
    B) That they need His forgiveness to enter into Heaven.
    C) No amount of ‘good’ works or deeds can bring that forgiveness.
    D) That Jesus Christ has died upon the Cross in their place, taking their punishment and paying the price of sin.
    E) That they need to turn to Jesus in repentance and faith and receive Him as Lord.
    F) When they do all that, then God will grant them New Life in Christ, New Birth of the Holy Spirit and Eternal Life.
    G) They’ll also be members of God’s Family forever. He will be their Heavenly Father. They will be His children. Saints forever.
    H) Begin to live the new life in Christ: Pray, Worship, Read God’s Word, Gather with Brothers and Sisters in Christ. Share the Good News of Jesus Christ with others who don’t yet know Him as Lord.
    I) The Holy Spirit: Also will give them Heavenly gifts to enable them to serve God as He directs them.

A Christian is SET FREE from Sin:

Romans 6:22 “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.”

When you are set free from sin’s ability to control your life, you are set free in Jesus to be like Him: Holy, and this leads to an assurance that you have received the gift of eternal life.

A Christian is DEAD to SIN:

Romans 6:2 “By no means! We died to sin; how can we live in it any longer?”

Conclusion:

Last night was so awesome, no wonder we returned with banners flying high (not literally), but full of the JOY of the LORD.

We met a man and a woman last night, who I initially thought were father and daughter, but they’d just, at that moment, met each other after not seeing each other for over 20 years. It was amazing! The woman and man were so thankful after our conversation about the Lord.

She had been trusting in her own way to Heaven. He was a lapsed Roman Catholic who never attended church, but believed he was going to Heaven because he’d been baptised as a baby. We took the time to go through the Commandments with them and what an amazing, eye opening time it was. They both could see and understand their need for Jesus Christ. The woman even after that said, “I’ve got my own beliefs and I’m going to try my best in my own way”. Sherrie said to her “Can I just say something, I want to say this gently and respectfully, but you are trusting in your own way instead of God’s way.” She simply nodded in agreement. She responded, “I don’t think that our meeting up tonight was an accident” and continued to explain they’d not seen each other for over 20 years and how she knew she’d never be able to forget what God had just spoken to her. With warm handshakes they both thanked us so much for taking the time to stop and talk with them about the Lord. Awesome!

Share the Good News, go out in your weakness and He will fill you with His strength and you will return with banners flying high. Who knows, you may even reap some of the seeds that have been sown in their hearts by the Divine hand of Glory.

Don.

BTW: In the past when someone said, “I’m a believer” I would just say, “Praise the Lord”. Now, sometimes, the Lord prompts me to just check to see who it is they are actually trusting in; Jesus or themselves for their Salvation. More often than not these days, the LORD opens up the can of worms, empties them out and fills them with His own LOVE. Because there is ONLY ONE WAY to get into Heaven and that’s through what Jesus Christ has done to make us pure and ready for it.

BTW: Every truly born again believer will not be annoyed that you want to check they are trusting in Jesus, they’ll thank you for it, pray for you and encourage you on your way. Don’t forget to encourage them too, to share Jesus regularly.

 

 

Wondering Why?

War, Famine, Refugees, Injustice, Pain, Hurt, Jesus, Hope, Faith and LOVE

Daily Spirit & Word: 613: Wondering Why?

“He WILL Wipe Away EVERY Tear From Their Eyes”

Good morning everyone, last night was the first real cold evening of the year, with a cold wind, slight drizzle and brooding sky we ventured out to share the Good News on the Streets. Understandably we got into very few lengthy conversations with people, but handed out more tracts than we’ve ever done. However, Sherrie was the one last night who did manage to have a long conversation with a woman who attended the local Roman Catholic church for over 30 years. She was a devout Catholic, but didn’t know the Bible at all, had no assurance of her Salvation, and just trusted in her ‘religion’ to save her. She didn’t know Jesus as Lord or Saviour. It’s such a shame that a person can be fooled into thinking that being ‘religious’ will save them on the day of judgement. Sherrie gently shared the Good News and the woman, who was in a rush to get home initially, stopped for over 20 mins chatting, listening and asking questions.

One thing the Catholic woman said was, “Nobody Knows what Heaven is like, because no one has come back to tell us”.

However, we do have one who came down from Heaven to tell us, not so much what it is like, but to get ready and get right so that we will be able to get into Heaven when we die. Sherrie unpacked that TRUTH for the woman last night.

  • We do not know, but God has promised that one day we will know EVERYTHING.
  • We don’t know why there is so much suffering and harsh treatment of innocent people.
  • We don’t know why there are dictators who care little about their own citizens.
  • We don’t know why men will scheme and go to war to kill thousands with bombs and bullets.
  • We don’t know why the good people suffer, whilst evil people seem to prosper.

However, we do know that one day we will KNOW EVERYTHING.

It’s just that the LORD wants us to trust Him, even though we don’t know everything now.

Not knowing why God allows these things does not mean that He’s lost control or is powerless to do something about it. He does in fact, but we can’t often see the forest for the trees. When we look at the reverse side of a tapestry it just looks like a complete mess, but turn it over and we observe the magnificent beauty of delicately crafted and skilful needlework, but it’s not until we take a few steps back that we see the whole picture and it’s AWESOME. When we get to Heaven, we’re going to see and know what they Lord has been doing all along in Human history. He will be glorified: and we will praise Him for His magnificent beauty of holiness.

When Job had lost everything he had, except his own life, he just knelt down and worshipped the Lord. He declared,

Job 1:18-22
18  While he was still speaking, yet another messenger came and said, “Your sons and daughters were feasting and drinking wine at the oldest brother’s house, 19  when suddenly a mighty wind swept in from the desert and struck the four corners of the house. It collapsed on them and they are dead, and I am the only one who has escaped to tell you!”
20  At this, Job got up and tore his robe and shaved his head. Then he fell to the ground in worship 21  and said: “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I shall depart. The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away; may the name of the LORD be praised.” 22  In all this, Job did not sin by charging God with wrongdoing.

My friends, we don’t KNOW it all just now in this life, but we still worship, trust and praise the LORD. We are not overjoyed about the evil that’s happening, but we can be at PEACE through everything that comes upon us and the people that we love in this world.

1 Corinthians 13:12-13
12  Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known. 13  And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

That’s why there are no real Atheists, because they don’t KNOW everything, to say that there is definitely no God who Created everything is logically flawed, to be able to say that with conviction, you’d have to know everything. But we don’t even know very much about the Earth, not really, we’re just sitting on the top of an iceberg of understanding, we can’t even see what’s beneath the surface, yet. In some place or space in the universe that we don’t know, is there room for the God who could have made it all? Of course there is, because He did: It may seem disorderly and random, but just take a look through the microscope and you’ll observe wonders to behold; order and structure and amazing beauty. You’ll see the fingerprints of God and marvel at the Creative genius behind it all.

We don’t know WHY He allows so much evil to persist upon the earth between human beings, but we can still have; faith, hope and love through life: When we get to the Lord’s side, then we will know fully, even as we are fully known by the Lord.

In the meantime, He’s given us work to do for His Kingdom and Glory: He wants us all to be on His rescue mission, to save as many souls as we can for His Heaven. Let’s just keep at it, for when one soul is saved and delivered from the slavery of sin to the freedom of the Saints, they too will be about the Lord’s work and will be filled with the HOPE of Heaven in their hearts.

There is also so much good we can do to alleviate the suffering and injustice in this world too: We can be an influence for good and for peace. Think about the STREET CHILDREN around the world, they live in constant fear, suffer hunger and incredible injustice. The authorities seem to hate them and they are living with the dread of something happening to them at the hands of evil men. Think about places upon the earth when people are fleeing war or famine or disaster; be filled afresh with God’s compassion and get involved. We can all do something, even if it’s something small, it all helps to spread the good and the LOVE of God.

  • We can pray and seek God’s will to be done on earth as it is in Heaven. That’s what Jesus told us to pray for.
  • We can pray and ask for daily bread, not just for ourselves, but for those who don’t have any.
  • We can pray and be part of God’s Healing for people; when you pray and lay your hands upon people in the power of God’s Holy Spirit, miracles can and still do happen for people who don’t even know the Lord yet.

When you weep at the injustice and brutality of evil regimes upon the earth, bring those tears to God and ask for Him to bring His swift justice for the poor and the weak and those who can’t speak for themselves. The Israelites were in bondage in Egypt for over 200 years, then the Lord heard their cries and brought the Ten Plagues upon Egypt. He does things in His own time, but we can and should be crying out to Him. Perhaps He’s just waiting for your prayers today and then He’ll move???? You know my friends, God cares far more about injustice than we do. He loves far more than we do. He is in control of the situation and will move in His own good time: Watch and Pray!

In the meantime we have God’s PROMISES:

Revelation 21:3-8
3  And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God.
4  He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”
5  He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.”
6  He said to me: “It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To him who is thirsty I will give to drink without cost from the spring of the water of life.
7  He who overcomes will inherit all this, and I will be his God and he will be my son.
8  But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practise magic arts, the idolaters and all liars—their place will be in the fiery lake of burning sulphur. This is the second death.”

Have an awesome Thursday with Jesus.

Stay close, worship Him no matter what you are feeling like today.

Don.