Love Always Perseveres

Love from God's perspective.

Daily Spirit & Word: 824.

Love Always Perseveres.

Sermon Series on LOVE (Understanding LOVE from God’s Perspective 1 Corinthians 13).

Good morning, we’re back with 1 Corinthians 13: The Great Love Chapter in God’s Word. Here we’ve been discovering some of the secrets of TRUE LOVE:

TRUE LOVE: Agape: Sacrificial / Devotional / Charitable Love.

1) That love is not at first an emotion to give into, but an act of the will, with principles and precepts to live by.

2) We will want to act these ways, because we’ve first of all experienced God’s; Love, Forgiveness, Kindness and Mercy. He’s given us a New Start, New Heart, New Life, New Relationship of Love through His Son Jesus Christ and the indwelling Holy Spirit.

3) When we act in God’s love, great feelings of LOVE will follow… i.e. attraction in relationships can be restored.

Some People think their marriage is over, because they don’t feel the love any-longer  It’s not over just because you don’t feel “IN LOVE” any more. Love and feelings of being in love will follow and flow afresh into your heart and your relationship once you begin LOVING God’s Ways.

LOVE ALWAYS: (Sermon Series).

We’ve been looking over the last few weeks at: Verse 7: Love Always:

1 Corinthians 13:7 (NIV) It (LOVE) always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

Today It Is: Love Always Perseveres.

To see how LOVE ALWAYS Perseveres: We can look though God’s Word to see if this is a principle / precept that is TRUE.

  • Then we’ll KNOW: Know the Truth and the Truth will set you free.
  • Then we’ll KNOW: That Always Persevering in LOVE… (LOVE NEVER FAILS)…

Genesis 29:20 (NIV) “So Jacob served seven years to get Rachel, but they seemed like only a few days to him because of his love for her.” (That’s Perseverance).

Part of Jacob’s reward for working for Laban was to have Rachel, Laban’s beautiful daughter, given to Jacob as his wife. Our verse for today sums up the details of this arrangement and shows the great effects of love how we’ll be persevering because of it…

  • Love Prompted Jacob’s Perseverance.
  • Love Prolonged Jacob’s Perseverance.
  • Love Produced Pleasure in Jacob’s Toil.

1) LOVE Prompted Jacob’s Perseverance:

Perseverance’s Prerequisite: Is LOVE:  “Jacob served seven years to get Rachel.” (Prerequisite = Essential Condition. Needed Requirement: LOVE).

It was love that caused Jacob to serve here. He was very much in love with Rachel and so agreed to serve Laban for her. Love is essential if we are going to persevere.

Remember what Paul said;

2 Corinthians 5:14-15 (NIV)
14  For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died.
15  And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again.

Paul was motivated (compelled) to serve his Lord Jesus by his love for Christ. (First LOVE).

When Christ called Peter to feed His flock, He asked Peter, “Do you love me?” or in KJV “Lovest thou me” (John 21:15,16,17 {three times}).

If your perseverance draining, if you feel everything to do with church is a drag, maybe you are getting a bit like the church at Ephesus which was rebuked by the Lord because they had “left their first love” (Revelation 2:4).

If Jacob had just had a passing FANCY for Rachel, he would not have served or persevered to get her hand in marriage.

It wasn’t a passing fancy, but true love that enabled Jacob to persevere for those seven long years.

 

2) Prolonging of Perseverance. “Jacob served seven years to get Rachel.”

Love caused Jacob to serve for a long time.

Later when Laban deceived Jacob and gave him Leah instead of Rachel at the end of those seven years, Jacob was prepared, because of his love for Rachel, to agree to serve another seven years for her. That’s awesome! We need to understand this today 14 Years to get a wife… who today would be prepared to do that? Would you wait? That’s how much he longed for and loved Rachel.

Because of his LOVE he was prepared to persevere for Rachel’s hand.

  • Love Caused Jacob: To continually work for Rachel.
  • Love Cause Jacob: To Never Give up on Rachel.
  • Love Caused Jacob: To have longevity (No matter how long it would take, he’d get his Rachel)…
  • Love Cause Jacob: To keep Going, not quit after a few days, weeks, months or years… 14 years it took to get his Rachel as his wife.
  • LOVE MADE JACOB: Persevere until….

 

QUESTION: Why do so many Christians fall away from the faith?

Why do so many Christians grow luke-warm in their devotion to Jesus?

Why do so many not persevere and keep following Jesus?

ANSWER: NOT IN LOVE WITH JESUS.

Some have a PASSING FANCY for the CHRISTIAN FAITH. Dabble their toes in the water of Christian Experience, but when the going gets tough, the feeble, fickle, feeling based Christians = leg it. They’ve had a passing fancy for Jesus, not TRUE LOVE… If Jesus was ever their FIRST LOVE, then no matter what, they’d stick at it come what may.

The reason so many folks do not last long in persevering faith in Christ is because they do not love Christ as they need.

If you truly love Christ, you will stay at your work continually: Like Jacob (Joseph, David, Moses, Abraham). Some didn’t see their PROMISED LAND (HOPE)… However, because of their LOVE they were able to PERSEVERE.

  • Love causes us to have longevity in our persevering for Christ.
  • Love does not serve Jesus a few days then quit when it gets tough; no it KEEPS GOING (Digging In Deeper onto the foundation bedrock of Jesus).
  • Love keeps us going in serving the LORD.
  • When we LOVE Jesus, we will PERSEVERE in the FAITH…

3) PLEASURE in PERSEVERING (Perseverance’s Rewards).

Genesis 29:20 (NIV) “So Jacob served seven years to get Rachel, but they seemed like only a few days to him because of his love for her.”

When you are truly in LOVE with Jesus, then no matter what happens; good or bad, plenty or want, you’ll LONG to SERVE HIM: Persevering won’t seem like a chore or a burden, it’s a pleasure.

  • When Jacob got Rachel: He said, “It seems like I’ve only served a few days” because of his love for her.
  • When you get to Heaven: You’ll be thinking it only seemed like a few days that I served Jesus. Because of your LOVE for Him.
  • Love for Rachel made long-days seem short.
  • Love for Rachel brought much pleasure to Jacob’s service. (The sweat of looking after sheep was a JOY)…
  • Love for Rachel sweetened the difficult times and made them delightful times.

 

Question: Why do so many followers of Jesus find serving Jesus a chore or a burden or a difficulty?

Why do so many Christians get resentful in their service?

  • They’re not looking at Jesus. Taken their eyes off HIM…
  • They’ve forgotten the Prize.
  • They’ve wandered away from their first LOVE…

 

LOVE ALWAYS PERSEVERES:

Hebrews 12:1-3 (NIV) (Don’t Loose Heart: Run With Perseverance: Fix Eyes on Jesus)…
1  Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.
2  Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
3  Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.

Philippians 3:14 (NIV) PRESS ONWARDS to WIN PRIZE…
14  I press on towards the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenwards in Christ Jesus.

1 Corinthians 9:24-27 (NIV) RUN (Persevere) to GET YOUR PRIZE.
24  Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize.
25  Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last for ever.
26  Therefore I do not run like a man running aimlessly; I do not fight like a man beating the air.
27  No, I beat my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.

If you are not in love with Jesus, you will not persevere: Not Run, Fix Eyes, Aim, Walk or Limp towards your Prize. You will loose heart and possibly fall away from the faith…

If you are in love with Jesus, you will persevere: Run, Walk, Keep Going, PERSEVERE.

 

How to get back in LOVE? {with your first-love}

  • LOVE as the Bible tells you: be patient, be kind, be forgiving, be gentle, don’t be proud, selfish, rude… etc (1 Cor 13). PRACTISING CHRISTIAN… Practice LOVE… Try it.
  • Repent: Of your lack of love for Jesus. Ask for His forgiveness. He’ll then MOTIVATE you to PERSEVERE once you are back IN LOVE with Him.

 

NOTE: RUNNING FOR THE PRIZE: (Not Down to Self-Effort)…

Personal Testimony: I’d failed, time and time again. Self-Effort wasn’t working. I got a bit depressed, felt a failure, felt God didn’t love me, couldn’t love me, wouldn’t love me. I had almost LOST HEART… Why? Because I was trying to be GOOD in my own strength, my own determination and perseverance and my will-power was failing fast… Who would rescue me? It’s Jesus my friends, I needed to trust in Jesus alone all over again. Submit to Him and confess and let Him do the changing of my heart…. Allow HIM IN: I needed to surrender all over again.

This PERSEVERANCE: Is NOT Self-Effort: It comes from being connected and in-love with Jesus. (OR RE-CONNECTED).

He gives you the DETERMINATION YOU NEED to Keep Persevering against the odds…

People will look at you and wonder: “How on earth does He / She do it?”… It’s NOT you, It’s Jesus in YOU… It’s the Holy Spirit who’s taken up residence and become your own personal President (Lord, Master, Boss, King)… He’ll be motivating you to obedience to what you know is right.

But many do not find that joy in serving. The reason is because they lack that deep heart love for Jesus.

If your love for Christ abounds, you will find much pleasure in serving Him even though the service may be difficult, long, hard, and trying.

LOVE ALWAYS PERSEVERES: Jacob loved Rachel (A Picture of How the Saint should love His / Her Jesus).

Conclusion:

1) Perseverance’s Prerequisite: LOVE for Jesus (Jacob loved Rachel)…
2) Prolonging of Perseverance: LOVE will make you SERVE for MANY YEARS…
3) Perseverance’s Reward: Those many years of service will seem like only a few days… Because, there is PLEASURE in persevering. {LOVE ALWAYS PERSEVERES}.

You’ll delight in Serving for Jesus, if you LOVE Him… No matter how successful or not… You’re going to keep going because of your LOVE for Him.

Amen!

Hymn:

Oh, How I LOVE Jesus,
Oh, How I love Jesus,
Oh, How I love Jesus,
Because He first loved me.

Bening Grateful When You Are Not Feeling Worthy

Jesus is one who can sympathise with your weaknesses

Daily Spirit & Word: 790: When You Are Grateful Because Of God’s Calling.

Good morning my friends, it’s been an awesome week of ministry, service and witness for the Lord Jesus.

There have been high moments, like getting a call-back from someone we met while out witnessing on the streets, then low moments when you hear some heart-breaking news the very next day. It all makes me think back to the time when I knew the Lord was calling me into the ministry and how unworthy I felt. I was so convinced of my own unworthiness, that I wanted just one minister who was already ordained to tell me I was just dreaming, that I’d never be able to live up to that calling. However, in my quest to find that all I got was, “I think He may be calling you Donald”. I asked a Church of England Priest with whom I’d had regular debates (some bordering on arguments), The Venerable Reg said, “I was wondering when you’d come to me and ask me that question”. He was convinced it was God. I then went to the Church of Scotland Chaplain, I was sure he’d say yes, but I wanted to hear it from his mouth. “He was so overjoyed, Malcolm lifted me off my feet, gave me a great bear-hug and said, “Oh yes! I know He’s calling you Don”. When I telephoned my own minister back home to ask, he almost burst into tears on the other end of the phone.

Yet that feeling of not being worthy, of feeling insecure, of not knowing enough, never left me, but then it hit me, if I ever felt able then I’d not be depending on the Lord for His strength but on my own; knowledge, experience and ability.

You see my friends, I didn’t realise it at the time, but when I felt how unworthy and ill equipped I was, I was in good company. How refreshing it is now to know that thousands of ministers, in fact most genuine Christians, who’ve felt God’s call to come and serve Him, feel the same thing.

  • Moses felt unworthy and ill equipped.
  • Gideon was so sure he wasn’t the man, he put out a fleece.

However, it not until you get to the great apostle Paul in the New Testament that you get a full picture of how unworthy anyone has ever felt;

Listen to Paul’s gratitude towards the LORD:

1 Timothy 1:12-16 (NIV)
12  I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has given me strength, that he considered me faithful, appointing me to his service.
13  Even though I was once a blasphemer and a persecutor and a violent man, I was shown mercy because I acted in ignorance and unbelief.
14  The grace of our Lord was poured out on me abundantly, along with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus.
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.
16  But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display his unlimited patience as an example for those who would believe on him and receive eternal life.

So my friends, if ever you feel God’s calling you to do something for Him, but don’t feel up-to the task, you are in great company.

Many of the greatest saints of old, have experienced the same feelings of unworthiness.

The TRUTH: We are unworthy, we are all sinners, we were dirty, naked, blind, foolish, blasphemous, ignorant; until the LORD opened our eyes and let us see the amazing mercy and grace of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. How we can be washed clean, made pure, made holy, gifted for service and equipped with the power of Heaven.

It’s Jesus, by His Holy Spirit, who takes us and shapes us for His service.

Just look how Moses, Gideon and Paul turned out; each in their own time shook the world with their devotion to and love for the LORD.

They all maintained their walk with the LORD through intimacy with Him. Spending time in God’s presence.

My friends, when you feel God’s call, get into the presence of Jesus, pray, praise, worship and let His WORD soak into your soul. Because when you do, He’ll transform you more and more into His own likeness. He’ll fill you with His deep love for those in the world who don’t know Him yet. He’ll give you everything you need to be able to serve Him.

Moses, Gideon and Paul all felt unworthy and ill-equipped because they were unworthy. They’d all sinned and fallen short of God’s Holy Standards, but through His mercy and grace God called and equipped them for His service. He’s calling you too.

Brothers and Sisters For The Work:

It’s also obvious, that Moses, Gideon and Paul had companions for the work the Lord called them to do. They would not have been able to accomplish much without them. Moses had Aaron and Joshua, Gideon had thousands, but the Lord whittled it down to 300. Paul had many who joined him in spreading the Good News of Jesus; Barnabas, Lydia, Timothy, Mark, etc… And I’ve also had great brothers and sisters in the Lord wherever I’ve been since I was called to follow Jesus; most recently; Robert and Valerie, David, David, David, Amanda, Pat, Ben and Judy, Sherrie, Isaac and Caroline, Judith, Pam, Gemma, Hayley, George, Prince, Anthony, Marcela, Betty and Budget, Jonathan, Celestin, Lloyd, John and Josie, Maria and Harold and many, many more. Of course I’ve got to mention my wife Julie and our children and grandchildren, what a family. It’s amazing how the LORD sustains us in our calling and keeps us going in His service with great joy and encouragements along the way.

  • Yes there are hard times, like saying goodbye to Stewart this week, who’s gone to be with the LORD. Getting a call from a distressed person. Visiting a heart-broken person.
  • Yes there are jubilant times, like hearing how someone is getting a breakthrough in their walk with Jesus.
  • And there are the slog times, like keeping going at night, when you’ve been up since before dawn, when all you want to do is put your feet up. Sometimes, it’s moments like that you’ll see awesome revelations from the LORD.

It happened to me this week: I was exhausted and ready for my pillow. Walking back home at 10.00pm I bumped into two women we’d witnessed to and prayed for about four months ago. I recognised her by her tattoos. She said, “I’m not pregnant yet, but I’ve got real HOPE in my heart since you prayed”. Even though I was tired, it put a skip into my step on the way home.

When you are feeling weak and unworthy, remember these wonderful verses from God’s Word:

Jesus knows you are not worthy, but He still calls you into His service in His Kingdom. None of us are worthy; Moses wasn’t, Gideon wasn’t worthy, Paul wasn’t worthy, I’m not worthy and neither are you, but He’s calling you into His service in His Kingdom for His Glory.

Hebrews 4:14-16 (NIV)
14 Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has gone through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess.
15  For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathise with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet was without sin.
16  Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.

Prayer: Thank you Jesus for calling me out of the darkness into your marvellous light. Thank You for the amazing mercy and grace in times of need.

Thank you Jesus that you are calling everyone who knows You as Lord, Saviour, Master and Friend, into full-time service in Your Kingdom.

O LORD, give us all ears to hear Your calling, eyes to see where you want us to serve You, and hands willing to work in obedience. Amen.

Have a blessed weekend my friends,

For those who gather with us in St Luke’s this Sunday: A gentle reminder that it’s Harvest: Please bring something for the Foodbank (They need supplies to give to those who’re going through a time of crisis in their lives). Put any money offerings for Foodbank in an envelope and write “For the work of the Foodbank”.

Some might like to make an offering to the Church: For the ministry of Jesus Kingdom in West Norwood. You can do that this weekend, just put it in an envelope and write; “For St Luke’s Church: Building for Jesus Kingdom”.

Stay close to Jesus, get equipped for Kingdom business,

Don.

 

I’m Going Home To Share The Good News

Jesus experienced rejection of his own family, friends, townsfolk, so don't give up or give in to the fear of rejection,

Good morning my friends, today I’m sharing the message I preached in church yesterday, but it’s even more impacting me than I thought, because there’s a principle that I’ve learned afresh, the importance of persevering in sharing the faith we’ve received no matter what kind of response it provokes in those who hear it. Don’t GIVE UP or GIVE IN when there’s a negative response.

Daily Spirit & Word: 722: Jesus Visits His Home Town.

The Incredible Unbelief in Jesus’ Home-Town of Nazareth.

“FEAR NOTHING”: Said Jesus. “Except: God…” We love all kinds of scary things: wild rides at the fair, scary rides a parks, pranks that make us frightened (the Bush-Man on Facebook), etc… but the one thing we should be afraid of we’re told, “we mustn’t tell people about that” because it’s not NICE to scare people. How is it OK to scare people with ghost, ghool, horror and thriller stories, but it’s NOT OK to scare them about God? My friends, “FEAR GOD”…Why? “Because the fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom”.

Good morning my friends, we’re back with Mark’s Gospel again today, this time our focus is upon Jesus visit to His home town in Nazareth. However, instead of receiving a warm welcome, like those who return from war, he encounters unbelief and criticism, but that has tragic consequences for his townsfolk.

Mark 6:1-6 (NIV)
1 Jesus left there and went to his home town, accompanied by his disciples.
2  When the Sabbath came, he began to teach in the synagogue, and many who heard him were amazed. “Where did this man get these things?” they asked. “What’s this wisdom that has been given him, that he even does miracles!
3  Isn’t this the carpenter? Isn’t this Mary’s son and the brother of James, Joseph, Judas and Simon? Aren’t his sisters here with us?” And they took offence at him.
4  Jesus said to them, “Only in his home town, among his relatives and in his own house is a prophet without honour.”
5  He could not do any miracles there, except lay his hands on a few sick people and heal them.
6  And he was amazed at their lack of faith. Then Jesus went round teaching from village to village.

NOTE: 1: Their Initial Amazement.

The Situation: Jesus has just been thronged by thousands, news was spreading fast about all the miracles he’s been performing around the towns and villages and on the edges of The Sea of Galilee. The Deliverance of a man with thousands of demons, the woman who’d been sick for 12 years, the bringing back to life a girl who had died.

But then almost like a Train Hitting the Buffers at Land’s End in Cornwall: It all comes to a CRASHING HALT: Where? In a foreign town? NO! In a Roman Official’s home? No! Amongst the foreigners? No! Where? In Jesus’ Home Town.

He was in town accompanied by his disciples. 

One of the things that should have convinced his home town of Jesus’ status should have been the great entourage that accompanied him now.

Jesus Return Home: It’s like a Great General Returning from a Campaign: But instead of a Triumphant Rally, Jesus doesn’t even get a little party.

  • What does Jesus do? On the Holy Day: Sabbath: Jesus goes, like a good Jew would, to the Synagogue.
  • What does Jesus do in the Synagogue? “He began to teach”
  • What’s the initial response? “Amazement”...

Amazement: Is the feeling that accompanies something extremely surprising. Another word could be ‘Astonishment’. (It’s surprise, stupefacation, admiration, wonder, wonderment). Modern words: Impressed.

Listen to their Questions: they asked;

  • “Where did this man get these things?”
  •  “What’s this wisdom that has been given him?
  •  “He even does miracles!”

Jesus teaching is backed-up by the Miracles and Signs and Wonders He performed: Initial response: Amazement.

How would you feel if Jesus was here right now, teaching you the Secrets of God’s Kingdom?

You’d probably AWESTRUCK right?

You’re mouth would fall open and you’d gaze in wonder and amazement.

A modern word for that is WOW or WOWzer! Jesus is AWESOME.

What would be your response?

However, before you answer that question, let’s look at how they responded.

NOTE: 2) The Unreasonable Unbelief of Jesus Townsfolk and Family Members.

They are initially amazed and awestruck, they knew about the Miracles, but what a SHOCKING and SADDENING result for Jesus.

Listen to the next set of Questions: They KNOW all about Jesus of Nazareth.

  • Isn’t this the carpenter?
  • Isn’t this Mary’s son?
  • Isn’t Jesus the brother of James, Joseph, Judas and Simon? Aren’t his sisters here with us?”

That’s right, they KNOW Jesus background. They KNOW where he comes from? They KNOW his family? They KNOW his trade / employment.

  • He’s a Carpenter: The Son of a Carpenter… “How could a mere Carpenter get so much wisdom, and miracles making power?” … “We know He hasn’t attended any Rabbinical School”… They are offended / scandalised by a mere Carpenter having the audacity to teach them.
  • He’s a Son: Of a woman we know all about. He’s just an ordinary man…
  • He’s got brothers and sisters amongst us here. (Mary obviously didn’t stay a Virgin after Jesus’ birth, she had other sons and daughters. Only Jesus was Mary’s Divine child).

NOTE: 3) WHY They Refused To Believe or Trust in Jesus:

They were amazed at his wisdom, they knew about the miracles, but the FOCUS instead upon His (human) Personality. Who He IS…

What was their response to Jesus teaching and their questioning and reasoning? “They Took OFFENCE at Him”...

Instead of being so impressed and filled with JOY, as they most certainly should have been, they are simply OFFENDED.

OFFENCE: Is a feeling of anger caused by an offence: i.e. Jesus was only a Carpenter, a Son and a brother, so why is He here ‘preaching and teaching’? Their offence was anger cause by who they thought Jesus was.

The Reason For Their Offence Was, “What right has this Son and Carpenter to TEACH us?” … “Who does He think He is?”… It’s a feeling of being appalled, aggrieved, bruised, outraged, pained, scandalised, violated and wounded… (A litle girl in our gathering yesterday stated “they may have been jealous of Jesus”… Jealously is a powerful emotion).

We don’t even know what it was that Jesus was teaching them in the Synagogue in Nazareth that day: Have you ever wanted to be a “fly-on-the-wall”? I’d love to know what it was they were so Scandalised and Offended about, but we don’t.

The most important thing for Mark (and the Holy Spirit) is that we know that in Jesus Home Town: Amongst Family and Townsfolk: They were offended by His PERSON more than his actual teaching in their Synagogue.

  • Their UNBELIEF is UNREASONABLE: Because of the EVIDENCE. (i.e. His wisdom, His Miracles) (No right thinking person when given the evidence they had received would deny Jesus or refuse to Honour Him). It’s just totally unreasonable.
  • Their UNBELIEF is  INEXCUSABLE: on account of all the evidence. They should have responded with open heart and hands and voices, but they didn’t instead they lacked faith in Jesus because they remained offended.

NOTE: 4) THEIR UNBELIEF IS COSTLY.

However, their Unbelief and Offence: has a terrible consequence for them.

A)  They Get a REBUKE from Jesus For Their Unbelief.

Jesus STATEMENT: “Only in his home town, among his relatives and in his own house is a prophet without honour.”

That’s not merely statement of fact: but of OPEN rebuke. i.e. Strangers welcomed and honoured Jesus. Complete Strangers showed Him respect. Complete Strangers listened and responded to His teaching, but His town’s folk and even some of Jesus’ own family: were offended and without faith. They remained in STUBBORN UNBELIEF.

When there’s so much EVIDENCE: That kind of UNBELIEF is a Sin.

GRAVITY: It’s like saying, “I know that Newton Defined The Law of Gravity, but even though I can see an Apple falling from a tree, and every time I drop a cup it falls to the floor and smashed to pieces, I don’t believe in GRAVITY”… How foolish.

I remember an old Government Health and Safety Advert: About the Dangers we face a work:

“Sir Isaac Newton tells us why, an apple falls down from the sky,
and from this fact it’s very plane, all other objects do the same,
A brick, a boot, a bar, a cup, invariably it falls down; NOT up.
And every other working tool, is governed by the self-same rule.
So when you handle tools up there, let your watchword be; take care.”

The Evidence for who Jesus was, and backing up what He was saying and teaching was all around them: Yet even members of his own family and many in his home town remained in stubborn UNBELIEF…

You might be surprised by that, I am and So was our Lord Jesus Christ. Look at verse 6 of our reading today; “He was amazed at their lack of faith”… Their Unbelief is unreasonable, inexcusable, brings a rebuke, but note what happens next…

B) Jesus Wasn’t Able to Perform ANY Miracles.

Except heal only a few people. Surely healing a few people is miraculous, but what the text is telling us is that Jesus was hindered by their UNBELIEF and lack of faith.

C) thirdly, Jesus MOVES ON because of Their Unbelief:

What happened as a result of their Unbelief? “Jesus moves on from town to town teaching”… He moved away from His Home Town: Nazareth. He leaves behind his own family, neighbours who’d known him all his life, and goes to other towns in the area, to strangers rather than friends and family. What a dreadful shame.

My friends, there’s a STARK WARNING for us here today.

If we’ve been CONVINCED: that Jesus is who He claims to be “The Divine Son of God”, The King of the Jews, The King of a KINGDOM not of this Earth, The Expected One. If we believe that He could and did perform wonderful miracles. That He had amazing insightful and wise teachings, but refuse to put our FAITH in Him, then we’re just the same as His own family members and townsfolk of Nazareth.

Their UNBELIEF: Was both UNREASONABLE and INEXCUSABLE and thirdly, very COSTLY: If we’ve become convinced of Jesus, then we’re just the same; If we remain in STUBBORN UNBELIEF.

NOTE: 5) What’s A RIGHT RESPONSE TO JESUS?

Faith IS confirmed by our RESPONSE: How are we TRUSTING in Jesus today? (Not what we’ve done in the PAST).

It’s not so much about what we believe about Him. (As Nazareth did). But our HEART response to HIM.

It’s not about being impressed by Him. (As Nazareth was). But receiving HIM by FAITH.

Those people were impressed, but they REFUSED to Honour Him and Accept Him.

Remember what the Apostle John recorded in John Chapter One: ”

John 1:10-18 (NIV)
10  He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognise him. (Even the one’s who knew him best, his home town, didn’t not receive him).
11  He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. (or believe him or trust in him or honour him).
12  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.
14  The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.
15  John testifies concerning him. He cries out, saying, “This was he of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me has surpassed me because he was before me.’ “
16  From the fulness of his grace we have all received one blessing after another.
17  For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.
18  No-one has ever seen God, but God the One and Only, who is at the Father’s side, has made him known.

Jesus was the ONE: The ONLY ONE, to ever make God Knowable: How? Because He was God.

“If you’ve seen me Philip, you’ve seen the Father”… John 14.

Today is the DAY Of SALVATION: 

Before Jesus moves on from you, to go to another soul and begin to work on them some miracles, to convince them with His teaching, will you OPEN your heart, mind, soul and life to Jesus today?

Will you RESPOND by Accepting or Rejecting Jesus?

Reason It Out: (It’s NOT a blind-leap-of-faith). Look at Jesus teachings. Look at the Miracles recorded. Listen to the Testimony of Believers today. Examine all the Evidence in History from the time of Jesus. All that EVIDENCE is still with us. Enough to CONVINCE the most sincere or sceptical seeker today.

LOOK AT CREATION: The Bible tells us that in itself us enough EVIDENCE in CREATION for the EXISTENCE of God.

Stubborn Unbelief will BE COSTLY: Not just in this life, but in the life to come after death.

Romans 1:20 (NIV) “For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.”

CREATION ITSELF IS ENOUGH EVIDENCE.

Because if we CHOOSE NOT TO BELIEVE: On account of all the evidence we have been given. Jesus might just move on from trying by His Spirit to convince us… “He moved on from town to town teaching”

If we reject Him NOW: We will be rejected in ETERNITY.

Respond: Put you faith and trust in Jesus Christ today. Why? Because TODAY is the DAY Of SALVATION.

Don’t be like His own townsfolk and family; trust, believe and receive Jesus NOW.

For those who’ve never done that before or for those who’ve done it in the past but wandered away from Jesus.

I’m going to GIVE The A, B, C of Coming to faith in Jesus.

The Gospel: We want all our fellowship to know and be able to share the Good News.

  1. A) Accept: That you are a sinner, who needs God’s forgiveness. Without that forgiveness we’ll face God on Judgement day, carrying the weight of our own sins.
  2. B) Believe: Believe that Jesus Christ died upon the Cross for your sins. That He is the Son of God. That He is who He claimed to be GOD. That He died, but rose again and is alive now. You can know Him.
  3. C) Receive: ByREPENT & TRUST: We may accept we’re sinners, believe that Jesus died for those sins, but until we receive Him by Faith, we’re still just like those Townsfolk in Nazareth, Impressed, but still without TRUSTING FAITH. Receive Jesus by an act of faith. Repent and Trust in Him alone and God will grant you the gift of Eternal life, forgiveness of sins, cleansing from sin, New Life in Christ and Gifts of the Holy Spirit indwelling and renewal and power to life a good and holy and abundant life, useful and gifted for God’s service for evermore.

Repentance: Is a change of mind (Greek Word: Metanoia)  regarding our way of living: There must be an element of sorrow / regret for the way we’ve been living in rebellion towards God. Then when we’re broken and convicted it leads us to the decision / desire to want to live our lives in ways that a pleasing to God. True repentance therefore will lead to a change in the way that we live our lives.

Trust in Jesus: It like putting on a life-jacket when you jump from a sinking ship. or a Parachute from a Plane that falling from the sky. Without the life-saver or parachute, your demise is certain. Put ON THE LORD JESUS CHRIST: AND YOU WILL BE SAVED. Without Jesus Christ we’re doomed to face a holy and righteous God, who’s justly angered by our sinful rebellion and will give us His justice on Judgement Day. Those who’ve not trusted in Jesus Christ (Put on the Lord Jesus to be clothed in His righteousness), will be thrown into the lake of fire with the devil and all demons.

BUT: God’s doesn’t want that, that’s why He sent his beloved Son to die upon the Cross, to take our punishment and save us from God’s wrath and judgement to come. That’s why it’s so important to have a right FEAR of God.

Finally: You may have similar responses from those who know you every well, when you give your life to Jesus and are transformed by Him. Your own family, townsfolk and friends might be initially surprised and then be offended by what’s happened to you, but when you begin to share the Good News with them, they may begin to say similar things to what they did about Jesus when He visited His home town.

(who does he / she think they are, they’re no different to me, they are just as sinful as I am, etc)… However, if it happened to Jesus, it can happen to us too. Don’t give up! Don’t stop following Jesus just because family, friends and neighbours don’t like it or won’t respond.

Remember how stubborn you were before you finally came to trust in Jesus Christ. I’ll bet that you didn’t trust in Him the first time you heard the Gospel. He had to draw you to Himself. He had to win your faith and trust in Himself. If it takes time with a stubborn person like yourself, then give those you love time to adjust to the claims of Jesus Christ. Coming to faith is often painful for people, because pride has to die first.

Don’t BE TEMPTED: (as much of our modern church has been) to water-down the hard parts of the Good News. Repentance is critical to true conversion. Without repentance from sin, we cannot be saved. A Satan-Blinded Sinner must see his / her sins for what they are; offensive to God, before they’ll see their need to let go of that way of living. Freely share God’s holy and righteous standards revealed in His Commandments, because you have an ally in the person with whom you are sharing, who’ll keep talking to them long after you’ve gone home to bed: it’s their own CONSCIENCE. Once you share the holy standards of God, the Conscience can be re-awakened and will begin to do it’s work. CONVICTION by God’s Holy Spirit will pull the sinner to his or her knees. It’s NOT all up to you, God wants them saved much more than you do.

Preach to them more than once, because their eternal souls are more valuable that your upset feelings or fear of further rejection. Our LOVE for them should compel us to give them as much GRACE as God has given to us.

So don’t give up, because God didn’t give up on you.

Don’t be put-off by an initial hostile response. Persevere, sometimes people will get angry when you share Jesus. I’ve had that many times, but after responding in gentle ways, their initial anger subsides and they begin to open us to receiving the Good News. Anger is just one of Satan’s ways of trying to scare you into stopping short, giving up and going home.

So don’t give-up on them, don’t give-in to fear, don’t water-down, don’t be afraid of rejection, because Jesus followed His own advice to the man delivered from demons (Mark 5) who went home and told everybody the good news. The Demon Possessed man had a good response when he shared, Jesus had a hostile response (Mark 6), but the PRINCIPLE still stands, GO BACK HOME and share the Good NEWS. Share about all the good things God has done for you and how he has had mercy upon you by forgiving your sins, giving you a new life and the gift of faith and eternal life. Some might reject it, but others may just be ready to respond and put their own faith and trust in the Lord Jesus Christ. Amen!

A NOTE TO MYSELF: Remember how important it is to read the chapters before and after the one you are peaching upon, sometimes there are linked themes, i.e. The Going HOME of Mark 5 and Mark 6…

Have and AWESOME and AMAZING week with Jesus,

Don.

 

Believe The Promises of Jesus Today

Daily Spirit & Word, 628:

BELIEVE THE PROMISES OF JESUS CHRIST.

Good morning my friends, there are many times when sincere followers of Jesus feel low.

What are we to do at these times?

  • When there is no joy in our religious activity?
  • When there is no sense of God’s presence?
  • When the Word of the Lord seems not to be speaking to “Me”? 
  • When we feel far away from the Lord?
  • When we want to know the Lord’s comfort, but find none?
  • When we try to pick ourselves up out of the dirt and fail

Listen afresh to what the LORD says concerning this kind of thirsting.

Trust afresh in ALL the Promises of Jesus.

“I will” it’s His PROMISE:

THE LORD PROMISES:

First to Israel: The Lord God Almighty (Jehovah) made many promises to His Chosen People Israel: These are promises: a promise is something that’s bound to happen and they cannot be revoked. Some of the Lord’s promises to Israel are not popular or positive; the promise to judge them and exile them if they turn away from Him. But His eternal promise that they will be His People and He will be their God is until Christ returns in Judgement.

Isaiah 44:1-5
1 “But now listen, O Jacob, my servant, Israel, whom I have chosen.
2  This is what the LORD says— he who made you, who formed you in the womb, and who will help you: Do not be afraid, O Jacob, my servant, Jeshurun, whom I have chosen.
3  For I will pour water on the thirsty land, and streams on the dry ground; I will pour out my Spirit on your offspring, and my blessing on your descendants.
4  They will spring up like grass in a meadow, like poplar trees by flowing streams.
5  One will say, ‘I belong to the LORD‘; another will call himself by the name of Jacob; still another will write on his hand, ‘The LORD’S’, and will take the name Israel.

What an awesome series of promises from the Lord don’t you think? But now speak the following promises out loud to your thirsty soul.

THE LORD JESUS PROMISES:

These are PROMISES to those who’ve trusted in the Lord Jesus Christ for Salvation and taken hold of Him as Saviour.

First: Jesus’ ENCOURAGEMENT TO OVERCOME:

Revelation 3:12-13 “Him who overcomes I will make a pillar in the temple of my God. Never again will he leave it. I will write on him the name of my God and the name of the city of my God, the new Jerusalem, which is coming down out of heaven from my God; and I will also write on him my new name. 13  He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”

WOWzer! What a wonderful promise: Jesus is going to write on you God’s Name and His Own New Name (Don’t know what that is yet do we?). We’ll be in God’s Temple and Never again will we leave it. (The Temple is the Presence of God).

Second: Jesus Christ and His Teachings and Commandments Are Your WISDOM:

Matthew 7:21-25 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22  Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?’ 23  Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’ 24 “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25  The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock.

Are you certain that you are IN CHRIST and that He is IN YOU? You’ll know, because God’s Spirit will let you know that you belong to God.

READ THE GOSPEL:

Watch Hell’s Best Kept Secret:

Third: Jesus Promise of ETERNAL LIFE & ETERNAL SECURITY:

John 10:24-30
24  The Jews gathered round him, saying, “How long will you keep us in suspense? If you are the Christ, tell us plainly.”
25  Jesus answered, “I did tell you, but you do not believe. The miracles I do in my Father’s name speak for me,
26  but you do not believe because you are not my sheep.
27  My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.
28  I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no-one can snatch them out of my hand.
29  My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no-one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand.
30  I and the Father are one.”

WOWzer! Such a beautiful promise of Jesus “no one, nothing can snatch us out of The Lord Jesus’ hand or the Father’s hand.”

Finally: THE PROMISE OF FRESH PASTURE & ABUNDANT LIFE.

John 10:9-11
9  I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. He will come in and go out, and find pasture.
10  The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.
11  “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.

Jesus gave His life so that you could experience ABUNDANT (FULL LIFE).

When the Father draws you by the Holy Spirit to put your faith and trust in Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour, then once you’ve responded in repentance and faith, received the New Birth and become a member of God’s family; it’s forever!

Trust in these promises, AND ALL THE PROMISES OF JESUS, for there a many more: CLICK HERE.

  • WRITE OUT THE PROMISES OF JESUS IN THE BIBLE.
  • READ THEM ALL OUT LOUD.
  • BELIEVE THEM ALL AFRESH
  • TRUST IN JESUS AGAIN.
  • RECEIVE HIM AS LORD: AGAIN.
  • GET SOME FELLOWSHIP: There’s nothing better than gathering with the Saints to praise and worship the Lord together. Ask them to pray over you in the power of the Holy Spirit. 

You will be refreshed, you will be set on fire, you will know that He is your Lord.

Do you treasure the Promises of Jesus?

I’m hoping and praying that EVERY Follower of Jesus will be Full of His FRIDAY FRUIT today.

Don.

Note: Here are many more promises of Jesus: Click Here. A Downloadable FREE PDF:

The Promises of Jesus Christ

 

God’s Way Of LOVE: Practical, Practicable and Possible.

Practical Love, Possible Love

GOD’S WAY OF LOVE:

Daily Spirit & Word: 567:

LOVE IS NOT A GETTING: IT’S A GIVING

LOVE IS NOT A FEELING: IT’S AN ACT OF THE WILL.

 

Good morning my friends, I love that old song by “Wet, Wet, Wet” the Pop Group. “Love Is All Around Us”.

“I feel it in my fingers, I feel it in my toes”

The phrase that stands out for me today is; “And So the “Feeling” Grows.”

How many of us today want to FEEL more in LOVE? Answer: “ALL OF US” Am I right?

I want to say right now: Real LOVE Is: Practical, Practicable & Possible: LOVE.

Questions: What DOES the Bible Say About LOVE? What Does God want us to understand about LOVE?

TYPES OF LOVE IN THE BIBLE:

Bible Question: How many words are there in the Greek language for love?

Bible Answer: There are four major GREEK words for love:

AGAPE, PHILEO, EROS, and STERGO.

There are also a number of variations of these words such as AGAPETOS, ASTORGOS, KATAPHILEO, PHILADELPHIA, PHILANTHROPIA, PHILEMA, PHILIA, PHILOS, PHILOSTORGOS.

Four Main Words. (In Ancient / Classical Greek)

AGAPE is the most common word for love in the New Testament. It occurs 259 times as a verb or as a noun.

PHILOS and PHILEO occur only 54 times.

EROS and STERGO do not occur at all in the New Testament.

English Form Meaning
AGAPE This word was used in Greek literature to refer to someone who was generously favored by a god. It has the idea of a person giving all his or her love or favor to another. It was used to speak of parents giving all of their love to their only child. So in the New Testament it is used to make the same point. God gives each of us all of His love.
PHILEO This Greek word has the idea of emotional love. While AGAPE emphasizes the complete giving of love to another person, PHILEO emphasizes the affection, emotion, a fondness one person has for another.
EROS EROS refers to love between a husband and wife. It is more than sexual ecstasy because it also includes embraces, longing, and caring.
STERGO STERGO primarily refers to love between parents and children. It sometimes refers to love between people and their ruler and to love between a dog and his owner.

The Other Words. The other words for love combine different words to make a special point. The meanings of these words are briefly given below.

English Form Meaning
AGAPETOS Beloved or loved one.
ASTORGOS Without love.
PHILADELPHIA Brotherly love.
PHILANTHROPIA Love for mankind
PHILEMA A kiss.
PHILIA Friendship love.
PHILOS A love for a friend or relative.
PHILOSTORGOS Tender love or affectionate love.

Conclusion:AGAPE is the most common word used in the GREEK New Testament. The greatest example of love is Jesus Christ who died for our sins. God shows His love by rescuing us from our sins.

For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life. (NASB) John 3:16

It is the word God uses to call us to love Him and others.

He is calling us to give Him all of our love and give others all of our love.

The emphasis is not an exclusive love but a total love.

Otherwise, we would only be able to love one person.

And He said to him, “‘YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND.’ This is the great and foremost commandment. The second is like it, ‘YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.’ (NASB) Matt. 22:37-39

God calls us to give ourselves completely to Him in every way – heart, soul, and mind.

HOW ARE WE TO LOVE?

In our Bible reading today, we discovered that God wants us to LOVE: But in a very special way.

1 Corinthians 13: Emphasises HOW we are to LOVE EACH OTHER. (AGAPE = Sacrificial / Giving LOVE).

Can you see that LOVE IS NOT A FEELING: IT’S AN ACT OF THE WILL.

Real LOVE: is not what you get out of a person, but what you give to them.

To be “Really In LOVE” is to want to give your all to another.

“But what about emotional love?” (Fondness, Feeling and Affection).

WHAT ABOUT EMOTIONAL LOVE? AFFECTIONATE LOVE?

Yes! The Bible does speak about that kind of love too.

God wants our EMOTIONAL AND AFFECTIONATE LOVE and expects it to be EXCLUSIVE (Complete).

He also asks us to have an emotional love for Him in 1 Corinthians 16:22.

1 Corinthians 16:22 (NIV) “If anyone does not love (Phileo) the Lord—a curse be on him. Come, O Lord! (Maranatha)”

God wants our Emotional LOVE too: So when He’s calling us to Agape (Sacrificial) LOVE for Him & Others, He’s also calling us to have an Emotional LOVE as well. (It’s our whole being, total and complete affections that God wants and expects to see).

THE BELIEVER’S LOVE AFFAIR.

UNFAITHFUL: To the Lord and Each Other.

“If anyone loves the world, the Love of the Father is not in Him” (1 John 2:15)

i.e. You cannot be loving God and having a LOVE AFFAIR with the World at the same time.

  • But you cannot DEMAND Love:
  • It’s got to come from the heart.
  • It’s got to come from your relationship with the LORD.

You will NOT be in LOVE with the LORD if you are in love with the world.

Let’s admit it! Many of us have been carrying on a secret love affair for years!

And doing a pretty good job of MASKING it from our BROTHERS AND SISTERS, FELLOW Believers in Christ.

And why do we continue the “affair WITH THE WORLD”?

Simply because we love how it:

  • Panders our appetite for sensual gratification
  • Entices our eyes and caters to the greedy longings of our mind, and
  • Fosters our desire to live a life of pretension.

The “love affair” to which I am referring is our surrender (giving in) to the evil values of this world system that governs the goings on of mankind; a system which is headed by none other than Satan himself – “The Prince of this world.” (John 12:31; 14:30)

If we have GIVEN IN (SURRENDERED) to this Prince by fostering and feeding a “love affair” with his domain (THE WORLD), we have a serious problem. You see, as professed followers of Jesus Christ, God will not allow us the luxury of two loves:

“If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.” (1 John 2:15)

We simply cannot have it both ways: Loving the “world” and loving God.
HOW CAN WE GET OUT? 

How can we escape the trap of our love affair with the world?

Jesus’ prayer to the Father for His follower on the night before the cross, gives us insight into the answer to that question:
“I have given them your word and the world has hated them, for they are not of the world any more than I am of the world. Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth.” (John 17:14, 17)

As the Disciples and Followers of Jesus were given the WORD’S of Jesus (Word of God) they were TRANSFORMED.

It was that inner transformation by the receiving of the Word of God that showed the whole world that they were no longer one of them, they were DIFFERENT (SANCTIFIED = SET APART / DIFFERENT). So the world “hated” them.

PAUL WAS DEAD TO THE WORLD:

(Paul had escaped the “love affair”).

Galatians 6:11,12-14,15 11 See what large letters I use as I write to you with my own hand!
12  Those who want to make a good impression outwardly are trying to compel you to be circumcised. The only reason they do this is to avoid being persecuted for the cross of Christ.
14  May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christthrough which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. 15  Neither circumcision nor uncircumcision means anything; what counts is a new creation.

PAUL had grown to hate the “world system” THAT WAS GOVERNED BY SATAN.

WHAT COUNTS? Dead to the world: NEW LIFE in Christ: (In Baptism: death to old life, rises to live a new life).
SO… THE BIG QUESTION IS: Just as the Disciples were transformed by Soaking in God’s Word (And later on by the Holy Spirit) Are you resisting the world’s seductive charm by the inner change that results from consistent, and disciplined meditation upon God’s Word? Are you seeking the in-filling of the Holy Spirit?

If you are a Phileo, Lover of the LORD, then you’ll want to become more of what He’s called you to be.

It’s NOT like a Demand, but an INNER-TRANSFORMATION: Your affections will change, the more you give yourself to ACTING in LOVE. (1 Cor 13).

REAL LOVE IS:

1 Corinthians 13.
Practical, Practicable & Possible: LOVE.

IF YOU DON’T: 

If not, you are choosing by default to foster your “love affair” with the “Prince of this world’s” dominion (This WORLD and ALL it has to offer). And in so doing you have become God’s adversary, because

“Anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God.” (James 4:4)

IF YOU DO: 

We’ve seen today:

  • The Types of LOVE: Agape and Phileo in the Bible. God wants your Sacrificial LOVE & your Emotional LOVE.
  • He wants us to BREAK FREE from our LOVE AFFAIR with the World.
  • He wants us to Experience His LOVE for us (Complete and Emotional) Fatherly, Tender and True.
  • What counts is a NEW CREATION: You will LOVE like Jesus (AGAPE: Self-Sacrificial).

When we Decide to LOVE: Then the feelings of LOVE will follow. (Emotions / Tenderness)

Couples struggling to LOVE (feel in LOVE) with each other; Solution: AGAPE (Give LOVE, then feelings will follow).

LOVE IS NOT A GETTING: IT’S A GIVING.

LOVE IS NOT A FEELING: IT’S AN ACT OF THE WILL.

Have an AWESOME Sunday full of the LOVE of God: For Him and for each other. And I KNOW that when you love like that, you’re going to have a FOUNTAIN of LOVING FEELINGS on the inside as well. You are going to FEEL it all around you, in your fingers and in your toes, and so the FEELING GROWS.

Don.

P.S. When I discovered AGAPE (God’s Way Of LOVE) I was really SET-FREE from all kinds of feelings. I no longer needed others to express their love towards me, I still like it though :-), but my FEELINGS of love for others just keeps grown, the more I LOVE like Jesus, the more free I become. It enables me to forgive, forget and let-go, in so doing, I’m becoming even more in LOVE with God and others. Real LOVE is Practical, Practicable and Possible with the LORD’S Help. Praise the LORD for His REVELATIONS IN THE WORD. Amen!

A Darkness That Can Be Felt: Walk In The Light

A great darkness covered the land

Daily Spirit & Word, 550: Walk In The Light

Great Is The Darkness: “A Darkness That Can Be Felt”

Good morning my friends, I was half-dreaming half-awake this morning at 4.30am and the Lord was speaking to me about the DARKNESS. I got up quickly and opened my Bible and the Software and began to study the ‘darkness’ in the Bible.

The Word the Lord gave me was; “A Darkness that may be felt.”

Exodus 10:21 (NIV) “Then the LORD said to Moses, “Stretch out your hand towards the sky so that darkness will spread over Egypt—darkness that can be felt.””

  • When Mankind walks away from God, they walk away from the light into a DARKNESS that can be felt.
  • A moral darkness covers the land.
  • To be in the darkness is to be without the light of Christ.
  • To be in the dark, is to be blind, blinded, can’t see.

They are blinded to their need of salvation. 2 Cor 4:4.
They are blinded to their moral condition. (Call sin good).
They are blinded to their destiny. (Don’t believe, choose not to accept, deny; Hell).
They are robbed of a sense of fear of God (They are bold, brazen about sin).
They are darkened in their understanding of anything good.

Great IS the Darkness.

Last night at the Monthly Prayer Meeting in Church, we touched upon the subject of the moral condition of those that don’t yet know Christ as Lord. A great discussion ensued about homosexuality being the NEW Schism in the church. How many who call themselves Christians are now saying that it’s OK to be homosexual, even so called Evangelicals are walking over to the dark side.

We got that from just re-reading Sunday’s lesson from 1 Corinthians 1:18-25.

Ten of the most well known Christian preachers / teachers were interviewed and asked their opinion on the subject of same-sex-marriage and homosexuality: You can watch their answers by clicking the link at the bottom.

Note: The one’s that gave the clearest answers were those who have the highest regard for the Word of the Lord. When the Bible says something, it’s as if God has said it. It’s true my friends, the Bible IS God’s WORD on any subject. Note those that gave the weakest answers were those who had a higher regard for what people feel. Joel Osteen, for instance, was determined that he didn’t want to upset anyone. Almost as soon as he acknowledged homosexuality was a sin, he immediately tried to cover-up that fact and that he believed it. So frightened is he of upsetting his ‘Positivity’ message.

DARKNESS: Is a kind of moral blindness in the Bible.

It’s an inability to see what sin is. It’s a failure to acknowledge sin as sin.

It’s an sensual-feeling darkness. A darkness that can be felt.

I’ve had one of those nights when the LORD was speaking to me about the DARKNESS and how great is that darkness. It wouldn’t go away. It came at me again and again in the night: Benighted.

We’ve also had that feeling of Darkness too; when out sharing the Gospel of Jesus. There are some individuals, that when you speak with them about Jesus, they give off a kind of darkness that can be felt. You can feel it in your soul the moment you begin speaking with them. More often than not this happens when people declare that they’ve rejected God or turned away from Him because of their lifestyle. Read Sarah’s Story (Link at bottom of page) and you’ll see that the Darkness is real.

However: BLIND people don’t need our condemnation.

They need to be brought into the light.

They need our LOVE no matter what it is they’ve done.

They need to be saved from the darkness.

Read Sarah’s Story of Deliverance from Sam-Sex-Attraction (Link at bottom).

Nor can we boast; (By ‘we’ I mean Christians).

  • We did not save ourselves.
  • We are not saved because of our own goodness. (Rom 3:20)
  • We are ALL sinners: Because we’ve ALL fallen short of God’s goodness (Rom 3:23).
  • We are SAVED by God’s GRACE not by our own good works. (Ephesians 2:8-9).

2 Corinthians 4:2-6
2  Rather, we have renounced secret and shameful ways; we do not use deception, nor do we distort the word of God. On the contrary, by setting forth the truth plainly we commend ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God.
3  And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing.
4  The god of this age (Satan) has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.
5  For we do not preach ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake.
6  For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.

If a blind man was walking towards the edge of a cliff???? Surely LOVE would compel you to shout a warning.

Blind are they that walk in darkness.

If a blind man had tripped over something, you would not blame the Blind Man would you? No! You’d blame the person who put the obstacle in the Blind Man’s pathway.

Satan has blinded:

Our battle is NOT against flesh and blood.

Isaiah 5:20  “Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter.”

The Darkness that can be felt: Is for those who are perishing, those on their way to death and destruction in Hell. Love, compassion and kindness compels us to share the good news of Jesus that we may save some from the darkness.

WHO IS IN THIS DARKNESS? (Don’t be Deceived).

1 Corinthians 6:9-11 “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.”

Those in Darkness: We don’t normally think that a ‘greedy’ person is wicked or in DARKNESS do we? Let us NOT be deceived.

The human tendency is to point the finger at something that we are not; thinking that we are ‘something’ when we are not. We didn’t save ourselves, Jesus did that. We are in Christ, because of Christ. (1 Corinthians 1:30).

1 Corinthians 1:29-31 “so that no-one may boast before him. 30  It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption. 31  Therefore, as it is written: “Let him who boasts boast in the Lord.””

PRAY: That the LORD will, by His Holy Spirit, lead our Nations out of this great darkness. That He’ll so fill His people with a deep compassion for those that have been blinded, who are in darkness, that we will do everything we can to bring others into the light of Jesus Christ, and that by His grace and kindness He’s given to each one of us, we’ll draw others to HIM.

FEAR OF THE DARKNESS:

Before I came to know the Lord Jesus, I was afraid of the DARKNESS. I hated being in dark places. I could feel the darkness. It was horrible. Once, when I was alone in bed in a darkened room, I could feel the presence of evil. I called out to the LORD Jesus Christ and asked Him to be with me, in the darkness. Since that night, I’ve NEVER been afraid of the DARKNESS again. I was set free from the fear of the darkness by Jesus. My friends, many who are walking in the darkness are afraid, they’re frightened of the light, they don’t want to come into the light for fear; fear that they are going to be exposed / reproved (John 3:20).

John 3:20 “For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.” KJV.

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

Finally, Jesus declared; John 8:12 “When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.””

  • Everyone can be set free to walk in the light.
  • Everyone has a Conscience (they know what they are doing is wrong).
  • The Darkness can be felt.

Walk in the Light. (1 John 1:6-8)

1 John 1:6-8 “If we claim to have fellowship with him yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live by the truth.

7  But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin. 8  If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.”

I’m praying that I can be walking in the light of the Lord Jesus Christ today.

Set me free from the DARKNESS Lord.
Keep me free from the DARKNESS Lord.
Help me to be an instrument for good Lord, to lead others into the Light. Amen.

Don.

P.S. LINK to Ten World Renowned Church Leaders Thoughts on Homosexual Marriage / Same Sex-Marriage.

Sarah Mourer
Sarah’s Deliverance From Same-Sex-Attraction.

P.P.S: Read Sarah’s Story of Deliverance from Sam-Sex-Attraction

 

With Jesus you will NEVER be LONELY again

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With Jesus you will NEVER be LONELY again.
With Jesus you will NEVER be LONELY again.

Daily Spirit & Word, 451: With Jesus you will NEVER be LONELY again.

Jesus Christ is the ANSWER to our deepest needs in life: relational connection with the Creator.

Good morning my friends. Last night when we were out on the Streets sharing the Gospel with folks and giving out tracts and Gospel messages, we had a few great conversations with people, but as usual one sticks out in my mind more than the others. It was with a woman we stopped and chatted with under the railway bridge on Norwood Road in Tulse Hill.
It was so noisy, trains going overhead, buses roaring their engines and an endless stream of traffic on Norwood Road, but she stopped when we offered her a £1,000,000 note. I said, “It’s not real, but has a message about Jesus on the reverse side”. She smiled and we began to chat about faith. Isaac asked her, “Do you have a faith?” She said, “I used to, but I’ve been a bit disillusioned by things”. We would normally have gone back over her life and asked about her faith background, but as I found out afterwards, both Isaac and I felt the Lord was telling us to just be quiet and listen to the lady. As we did so we discovered a woman who revealed she was; lonely, desperate and seeking a deep connection with the something, she knew there was something missing in her life, she’d tried many different paths and found them all to be a dead end. She’d been trained as a Clinical Psychologist, trying for years to help people through their difficulties, but she needed help herself, she was desperately lonely and though she thought she should have or know the answer, she’d found all her pathways empty. Now she was ready to try something, anything to make that connection.
After listening for about ten minutes, I said, “You know something, God loves you”. Guess what happened? She began to cry. She’d been waiting to hear that for so long. Then I said, “When you know Jesus Christ, you’ll never be lonely again.” She looked straight into my eyes and said, “My mother is a committed Christian”. I said, “I’ll bet you she’s been telling you that for years?” She nodded. I said, “There’s more, with Jesus you will NEVER be Lonely again and you’ll have a FRIEND not just for life, but for all eternity.”
After giving her some assurance of life with Jesus, we then chatted about the NEW Course we’re starting after Easter, it’s a course that’s looking at the Resurrected Jesus and different people’s encounters with Him. I asked her, “Would you be interested in such a course?” She said, “Yes I would indeed”… I gave her our little leaflet with contact details and said, “Please get in touch with us, I know you are going to enjoy the experience of getting to know Jesus Christ.”
We’ve been saying for many moths that Jesus speaks when we go out for Him, but there’s POWER with us my friends. The Holy Spirit made sure that Isaac and I knew last night to keep quiet and just listen for a while. What if we’d just blurted out with the Gospel? We’d probably have lost that woman, but by being attentive to His leading we were able to engage on a completely different level. We ask Him to prepare the way and He does, but we must be careful to observe and listen to His leading.
Lonely: Loneliness: There are countless desperate and lonely people in our world today. The Bible reveals that loneliness is like a prison and we, Isaac and myself, could see that this woman was like a locked up prisoner desperate to see the outside world and escape the prison cell of loneliness.
 
Psalm 68:5-6 A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling. God sets the lonely in families, he leads forth the prisoners with singing; but the rebellious live in a sun-scorched land.”

Here the Psalm reveals what we said to the Lonely lady last night:

A) God is A Father: A father relates with his children. God relates with those who come to Him as a Father. Yes He disciplines, rebukes and punishes, just like an earthly father does, but God also encourages, gives grace to the humble and strengthens those who are weak and feeling empty.
B) God is a DEFENDER: of those who can’t defend themselves. We serve a God of Justice and one day He’ll give righteous justice to all who mistreat those who are fatherless and widows.
C) God is in HEAVEN: But He’s also right here beside us. God is NOT far away in a place that cannot be found. He’s close to every single human soul. He’s only a prayer away.
D) God PROVIDES: For every single soul there is a FAMILY to belong to. When you come to Jesus you are in God’s Family, He becomes your FATHER and every Christian is your brother or your sister.
E) God sets the captives FREE: In the verse above, loneliness is described as a PRISON and those who are suffering loneliness as PRISONERS, but listen what happens when He sets those prisoners free.
D) There’s SINGING: rejoicing, happiness, peace, joy, praise, release. When you’re set free from something the next thing you want to do is CELEBRATE and REJOICE right? Well my friends, that’s what happens when Father God sets the LONELY FREE.
G) DESERT EXPERIENCE: Those who’ve yet to come to the Saviour, it’s like living in a DESERT, “A sun-scorched land”.
Reflecting back on our meeting with the woman last night, I can see her now in my mind, walking along the road, looking sad, head down. However, after our conversation, as I watched her walking away there was a difference in her. She was walking taller, she was lighter, brighter and more joyful and hopeful. There was a spring in her step and I know an expectation of peace and the prospect of an end to her deep loneliness.
With Jesus Christ as your Lord, Master, Saviour and Friend, you’ll never be lonely again. We, who’ve trusted in Jesus, have an answer to one of the world’s greatest needs today: The need to feel connected, loved, accepted for who we are, cared for, and protected. God has revealed in my places in the Bible that He is the Answer to ALL of life’s relational problems. We’re rootless and restless until we find our eternal rest in Him. It comes when we come to Jesus. Release comes when we come as prisoners longing to be set free by Jesus.

In Everyone’s Life;

There are SIN issues to deal with.
There are Righteousness issues to deal with.
There are Rebellious issues to deal with.
There are Character issues to deal with.
Yes all of the above in ALL of our lives, but there’s a much bigger issue, the issue of being and FEELING CUT OFF from the Creator. We’ll always be lonely until we come to the Saviour, there’s a soul searching within every single human being, that will not be satisfied until we find our true rest in Jesus. That’s why Jesus said, “Come to Me”.
We can try and fill that aching and longing with things, with people, with pleasures and distractions, but it won’t go away. Many mistake the longing for needing more of what the world offers, and they spend all their energy and time trying to fill their life up with things and the world’s resources, but what we need most is to find total satisfaction in absolutely NOTHING, but being with Father God, when we find that total satisfaction, then we’re set free to really enjoy what He’s provided for us.
We’ll no longer see the world and the things of the world as something to posses, to own or keep, but to use and enjoy and give away freely, because our Father has given all of it to us. We’ll hold onto these things loosely, because our happiness, contentment, security and joy are not dependent upon the things or the people of this earth any more. Our deepest JOY and Happiness comes from being connected, related, joined and filled with God: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
So for anyone who’s feeling lonely today, I would say “Listen to what the Lord your God has told you in His Word. Read and reread those words aloud, because it’s only in knowing the LORD of Creation that we find true companionship that our souls are crying out for.”
My friends, come to the Creator again today; to Jesus who made all things, stop trying to find soul satisfaction in the world, it will always leave you feeling wanting, but be filled to overflowing with His presence in your lives.
What a FOUNTAIN!
What a JOY.
What a PEACE.
Have an AWESOME Thursday.
Don.

NOTES on Loneliness / Our Need For God.

Bible Verses, Quotes, Scriptures About: Feeling Alone; Being Alone ; Feeling Empty, Feeling Lost, Feeling Lonely, Feeling Alone ; Loneliness ; Feelings.Psalm 25:16-17
“Turn to me and have mercy on me, because I am lonely and hurting.
My troubles have grown larger; free me from my problems.” (NCV)Psalm 121:1 -2 “I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help. My help cometh from the Lord, which made heaven and earth.” (KJV)John 14:1 “Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.” (KJV)Matthew 11:29 “Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” (NKJV)1 Peter 5:7 “Casting all your care upon him; for he cares for you.” ~ KJV Ad.

Psalm 142:5-7 “I cry to you, O LORD; I say,
“You are my refuge, my portion in the land of the living.” Listen to my cry, for I am in desperate need; rescue me from those who pursue me, for they are too strong for me. Set me free from my prison, that I may praise your name. Then the righteous will gather about me because of your goodness to me.” (NIV)

Deuteronomy 31:6
“Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the LORD your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.” (ESV)

Psalms 46:1
“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.” (KJV)

Psalms 27:10
“When my father and my mother forsake me, then the LORD will take me up.” (KJV)

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.” (NIV)

Matthew 28:20
“Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.” (KJV)

Hebrews 13:5
“Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” (ESV)

2 Timothy 4:16-17
“At my first defense, no one came to my support, but everyone deserted me. May it not be held against them. But the Lord stood at my side and gave me strength, so that through me the message might be fully proclaimed and all the Gentiles might hear it. And I was delivered from the lion’s mouth.” (NIV)

Psalm 68:6a
“God makes a home for the lonely; He leads out the prisoners into prosperity, Only the rebellious dwell in a parched land.” (NASB)

Lamentations 3:24-25 “”The LORD is my portion,” says my soul, “Therefore I have hope in Him.” The LORD is good to those who wait for Him, To the person who seeks Him.” (NASB)

2 Corinthians 1:3-4
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction so that we will be able to comfort those who are in any affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.” (NASB)

Luke 19:10
“For the Son of Man came to seek and to save that which was lost.” (Amplified)

Psalm 91:1-2, 14-15 “He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the LORD, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust. Because he loves me, says the LORD, “I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name. He will call upon me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him.” (NIV)

Revelation 3:20 “Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.” (KJV)

Psalm 9:10 “And those who know your name put their trust in you, for you, O LORD, have not forsaken those who seek you.” (ESV)

Psalm 28:7
“The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and I am helped. My heart leaps for joy and I will give thanks to him in song.” (NIV)

Psalm 147:3 “He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.” (NIV)

Lamentations 3:22 -23 “It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning; great is Thy faithfulness. ” (KJV)

2 Chronicles 16:9a
“For the eyes of the LORD range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him.” (NIV)

John 14:1-2, 27
“Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.” (KJV)

Matthew 11:28 – 30 “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

John 14:27
“Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” (KJV)

John 16:33
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (NIV)

Once Alienated From God..
Galatians 5:4 “You who are trying to be justified by law have been alienated from Christ; you have fallen away from grace.” (NIV)

Colossians 1:21 “And you, who once were alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now He has reconciled in the body of His flesh through death, to present you holy, and blameless, and above reproach in His sight.” (NKJV)

Jeremiah 29:13 “And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.” (KJV)

Bible Verses About Being Alone, Solitude, Jesus Being Alone
It’s Important to take out time to be alone sometimes – Like Jesus did
Matthew 14:13-14
“When Jesus heard what had happened to John, he left in a boat and went to a lonely place by himself. But the crowds heard about it and followed him on foot from the towns. When he arrived, he saw a great crowd waiting. He felt sorry for them and healed those who were sick.” (NCV)

Mat 14:23 “After he had sent them away, he went by himself up into the hills to pray. It was late, and Jesus was there alone.” (NCV)

Luke 5:16 “..but Jesus often slipped away to be alone so he could pray.” (NCV)

Finally..
Psalm 62:1-2
“My soul finds rest in God alone; my salvation comes from him. He alone is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will never be shaken.”

Romans 8:35-39
“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written: “For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.” No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.
For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (NIV)

With Jesus you will never feel lonely again.

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