The Difference Between Commitment and Surrender

Surrender to Jesus, don't just make a commitment.

Daily Spirit & Word: 799: Real Surrender: End The Cold WAR.

The Difference Between Commitment and Surrender.

How to WIN when you are feeling like there’s a Cold War between you and God.

The Cold War has started again. Just like the 1960s and 70s, the Russians are back to their old Cold War tricks, sending their Navy into UK waters. That’s what it was like when I served in Submarines. We played like Hunt for Red October, but it was a deadly game. Let’s commit to praying for this situation that it might not escalate into full-scale aggression.

However, my friends, today the LORD has reminded me that Christians are in a constant HOT WAR BATTLE with the powers of darkness and the evil forces in the Heavenly realms. It’s like the Christian is in a constant state of being battle ready. We’re also in a battle against our old nature, the flesh life, it wants to jump back onto the throne of every Christian’s life a take back complete control and make you its slave.

So many wonderful and sincere people in this world today have been duped into thinking they are Christians, that they are right with God and their place in Heaven is secure, but what they don’t realise is there’s a vast difference between making a ‘Commitment’ to following Jesus Christ and Surrendering your life to Christ.

REAL SURRENDER: How to win in the battle of the flesh.

I was re-reading an old book by Adrian Rogers (The awesome Baptist preacher and pastor). The book is called “The Incredible Power Of Kingdom Authority”. In the second chapter he recounts a meeting he had with a Romanian Pastor.

God does not give Kingdom Authority and all its potential to rebels.

In fact, most of us have about all the authority with which God can trust us.

When we teach our teenagers to drive, where do we begin? The accelerator? The steering wheel? No, always with the brake! If you can’t get your teen interested in the brake, then you aren’t interested in showing him the accelerator. In the same way, you will never really know the release of the Spirit until you yield to the restraint of the Spirit. We must first master our spiritual brakes. We must learn that strength comes from surrendering.

I had the privilege to preach in Romania shortly after God brought spiritual revival to this nation that had been liberated from a cruel Communist government. One of the leaders in that revival was a man named Josef T’son. Part of what made this man a mighty servant of the Lord was his exercise of Kingdom Authority in his life. Suffering at the hands of the Communists with brutal beatings, imprisonments, and death threats, he learned the victory that comes so sweetly in surrendering to the Saviour.

As Josef and I rode along in his car, I said, “Josef, tell me about American Christianity.”

He said, “Adrian, I had rather not.”

I said, “No, I want to know.”

He then said, “Well, Adrian, since you have asked me, I’ll tell you. The key word in American Christianity is commitment.”

I said, “That is good, isn’t it, Josef?”

He replied, “No, it is not. As a matter of fact, the word commitment did not come into great usage in the English language until about the 1960s. In Romania we do not even have a word to translate the English word commitment. If you were to use commitment in your message tonight, I would not have a proper word to translate it with.”

Josef continued, “When a new word comes into usage, it generally pushes an old word out. I began to study and found the old word that commitment replaced. Adrian, the old word that is no longer in vogue in America is the word surrender.”

“Josef,” I asked, “What is the difference between commitment and surrender?”

He said, “When you make a commitment, you are still in control, no matter how noble the thing you commit to. One can commit to pray, to study the Bible, to give his money, or to commit to automobile payments, or to lose weight. Whatever he chooses to do, he commits to. But surrender is different. If someone holds a gun and asks you to lift your hands in the air as a token of surrender, you don’t tell that person what you are committed to. You simply surrender and do as you are told.”

He said, “Americans love commitment because they are still in control. But the key word is surrender. We are to be the slaves of the Lord Jesus Christ.”

I had to say “Amen” in my heart. Never were more profound words spoken. And never a greater challenge given than those words to me that day. Of course, there are many things we may be committed to in a godly and wholesome way, but nothing can take the place of absolute surrender.

I did some more reflecting on this. In Titus 1:1, Paul says that he is a doulos of Jesus Christ. This word refers to a slave. It speaks of one who is in a permanent relationship of servitude to one whose will is swallowed up in the will of another. Specifically, it signified one who was born a bond slave in contrast to an andrapodon—one who was captured or sold into slavery.

In the New Testament, the word doulos is often translated by the word servant, which sounds a little softer. The New Testament uses this word to show the sinner’s relationship to sin. Jesus said, “Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin” (John 8:34). After the bondage to sin has ended, however, doulos is then used to describe the believer’s new relationship to God. Believers are not merely servants; they are devoted slaves of Jesus Christ.

The Incredible Power of Kingdom Authority: Getting an Upper Hand on the Underworld. Adrian Rogers.

SURRENDER not COMMITMENT.

It’s amazing how just one word can get you thinking. I had to reflect on my own ministry and the times I’ve used that word, calling on people to make a “Commitment” to Jesus instead of asking them to “Surrender” to the the LORD.

When we make a commitment, we’re withholding, we’re retaining control, we’re not letting Christ have complete Authority in our lives. I had to examine my own life too, I’ve made so many commitments over the years, but I have to be honest, the only times I’ve experienced that wonderful fullness of Holy Spirit is when I’ve surrendered to His leading, guiding, equipping.

Every time an opportunity to sin comes before me, I have to make a choice. If I SURRENDER to my flesh; I’ll be a SLAVE to my flesh again. However, if I surrender to the Holy Spirit, I’m a slave to RIGHTEOUSNESS (Living in surrender to the LORDSHIP of Jesus Christ).

Adrian goes onto recount the Biblical story of Surrender and Authority: The Centurion that made Jesus marvel because of his understanding of submission and authority in Luke 7:1-10. That’s Kingdom Authority and Kingdom Submission. The Centurion knew he was under authority, so when he gave an order of issued a command, he knew his men would obey him. He knew (Believed) that Jesus was operating under the authority of the Lord God Almighty and that’s why when Jesus gave an order or issued a command, things had to happen.

But I want to go back to Romans 6 where God reveals in His Word: That what we surrender ourselves to, we become slaves of that thing.

“Yield NOT to Temptation: For Yielding is SIN.” A wonderful Gospel song by Al Green. (See bottom of page).

We don’t use the word YIELD much these days, but it means the same as SURRENDER.

  • When you give into temptation you are surrendering all your rights as a child of God.
  • When you give into and surrender and yield to temptation, you become a SLAVE of whatever SIN you are surrendering to.

Let’s see if that is TRUE:

Are we SLAVES of what we SURRENDER, YIELD or SUBMIT to?

Romans 6:5-23 (NIV)
5  If we have been united with him like this in his death, we will certainly also be united with him in his resurrection.
6  For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin— 7  because anyone who has died has been freed from sin.
8  Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him.
9  For we know that since Christ was raised from the dead, he cannot die again; death no longer has mastery over him.
10  The death he died, he died to sin once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God.
11  In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus.
12  Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires.
13  Do not offer the parts of your body to sin, as instruments of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God, as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer the parts of your body to him as instruments of righteousness.
14  For sin shall not be your master, because you are not under law, but under grace.
15  What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? By no means!
16  Don’t you know that when you offer yourselves to someone to obey him as slaves, you are slaves to the one whom you obey—whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness?
17  But thanks be to God that, though you used to be slaves to sin, you wholeheartedly obeyed the form of teaching to which you were entrusted.
18  You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness.
19  I put this in human terms because you are weak in your natural selves. Just as you used to offer the parts of your body in slavery to impurity and to ever-increasing wickedness, so now offer them in slavery to righteousness leading to holiness.
20  When you were slaves to sin, you were free from the control of righteousness.
21  What benefit did you reap at that time from the things you are now ashamed of? Those things result in death!
22  But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves to God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life.
23  For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

When we YIELD or SURRENDER to Temptation, we SIN.

In surrendering we become a SLAVE of what we’ve given into.

Note in verse 19 “…ever increasing wickedness…” The more we give into sin, the more wicked the sins we commit become. i.e. if we steal a sweet from a big superstore, the next time we might steal a whole packet of sweets, the next time …. EVER INCREASING WICKEDNESS.

However, there is HOPE:

When you realise what’s been happening, how you’ve lost your JOY, PEACE and the PRESENCE of the SAVIOUR and SELF-CONTROL, then you know that you’ve taken a WRONG ROAD. Somewhere along the pathway of your life you’ve made a wrong choice. In doing so you’ve surrendered control of your life by yielding to temptation. To get back control, self-control, you need to once again come under the Authority, the absolute authority and surrender yourself to Jesus Christ again (if indeed you’ve already surrendered to Him, for many are false converts these days).

For one who is already a Christian: That means honest Confession, going through with God how you’ve been using the parts of your body in sin. Repentance (turning from those sins towards Jesus and letting them go), and re-submitting to Jesus Christ as your Lord and Master. Once you do you’ll soon see the Divine Power of Heaven comes flooding afresh into your life once again. You’ll notice an supernatural ability to be self-controlled and to rule and reign with Christ over your desires.

If you are not a Christian yet, it’s not about making a Decision or a Commitment to Jesus, to being religious or to strict rules and regulations. However it is all about SURRENDERING TO HIM AS LORD. Making Jesus the KING of your whole life.

It really does mean you are ready to have Jesus Christ come into your life, to take control, to rule and reign as your KING. That’s what a King does, He comes to reign and rule in a Kingdom.

So my friends, don’t make a commitment, be surrendered to Jesus Christ.

This is how we can know if we’ve really come into Jesus Kingdom:

John 14:21 (NIV) “Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me. He who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love him and show myself to him.”

Have you experienced Christ’s self-revelation? He will come to those who have submitted themselves to Him as KING. We’ll know we’re submitted when we’re living in obedience to Christ’s commands, because we’ll know that we love Him.

Remember Paul was a willing dulos (Slave) of the Lord Jesus Christ, and in becoming a slave, living in surrender and submission to Jesus, he experienced true freedom.

A PRAYER Of Complete Surrender to Jesus Christ. 

I thank you today Lord Jesus Christ, that when you died for my sins, you died for all of them. I’m coming to you today Lord Jesus and I want to surrender my life completely to You. All the parts of my being; my head (thought life), my hands (doing life), my feet (going life), my stomach (feeding life), my desires, (inward inclinations of my heart)… O LORD, I realise that I’ve been away from You. I’ve taken back the throne of my life and I’ve let myself be fooled into thinking I was back in control, but in reality, I’ve lost control and become a SLAVE to ever increasing wickedness. I come to You Lord Jesus to surrender and I know that You will set me free, so that I can live in freedom and regain Holy Spirit self-control. Come Lord Jesus and be my King take your rightful place on the throne of my life and be my King, because today, I’m surrendering to You LORD. Amen!

You can use your own words, be specific about how you’ve sinned against the Lord, how you’ve become a slave again, let it all come out into the open before the Lord, but don’t wait around to make HIM your KING today. Amen!

Have an awesome weekend,

Don.

“Yield NOT to Temptation: For Yielding is SIN.” A wonderful Gospel song by Al Green.

Yield not to temptation, for yielding is sin;
Each vict’ry will help you some other to win;
Fight manfully onward, dark passions subdue;
Look ever to Jesus, He’ll carry you through.

– Refrain:
Ask the Savior to help you,
Comfort, strengthen, and keep you;
He is willing to aid you,
He will carry you through.

– Shun evil companions, bad language disdain,
God’s name hold in rev’rence, nor take it in vain;
Be thoughtful and earnest, kindhearted and true;
Look ever to Jesus, He’ll carry you through.

– To him that o’ercometh, God giveth a crown,
Through faith we will conquer, though often cast down;
He who is our Savior, our strength will renew;
Look ever to Jesus, He’ll carry you through.

 

Loving The World Leads You Away

King Ahaz appealed to the King of Assyria for help, folloed worldly ways

Daily Spirit & Word: 731: Following The Patterns Of This World.

What happens when we follow worldly ways?

Good morning my friends, what are you going to do when trouble comes knocking at the door of your life?

2 Kings 16:10 (NIV) “Then King Ahaz went to Damascus to meet Tiglath-Pileser king of Assyria. He saw an altar in Damascus and sent to Uriah the priest a sketch of the altar, with detailed plans for its construction.”

King Ahaz, was the king of Judah, he was one of Judah’s baddie kings, because instead of following after and serving the One True God he’s followed previous kings and their evil practices that God had clearly forbidden. His life was a ‘Spiritual’ ruin and wasteland.

During his reign, Syria attacked Judah. But instead of going to God for help Ahaz appealed to the king of Assyria to come to his aid and help him defeat Syria. Imagine, he took the silver and gold from the Temple of God to bribe the Assyrian king to help him. The Assyrian king did assist Ahaz and together they defeated Syria.

However, After the great victory, Ahaz went to Damascus to meet the king of Assyria. Our verse today tells us about that very visit. We can note three things that happen to Ahaz and to us when we seek the world’s help in times of trouble instead of God’s.

You’ll notice in the verse these three things; The obligation of Ahaz, the observation by Ahaz, and the orders from Ahaz.

1) The Obligation of King Ahaz:

Obligation of Ahaz. “Ahaz went to Damascus to meet Tiglath-pileser king of Assyria.” Ahaz was obligated to go to Damascus to express his appreciation and give honour to the king of Assyria. Ahaz had forsaken Jehovah God, He’d wandered away from the God who had defeated the mightiest armies of Egypt and sought the assistance of a Worldly King when trouble came. Instead of going to God he appealed to the King of Assyria. So now he is the servant by choice (2 Kings 16:7) of the king of Assyria.

2 Kings 16:7 (NIV) “Ahaz sent messengers to say to Tiglath-Pileser king of Assyria, “I am your servant and vassal. Come up and save me out of the hand of the king of Aram and of the king of Israel who are attacking me.”

My friends, when we forsake God we become obligated to the world, we become the World’s slaves and servants, and that obligation will only become a burden to us.

It reminds me of the church that went to the National Lottery for money to rebuild it’s church, now that church is full of practices and activities and groups that no normal Christian would ever entertain. When we go to the world for assistance instead of to God, then world will burden us and we’ll become obliged to serve it instead of God. Instead of being a light to the world, we become it’s servant and slave. When we go to the world for help, it’s then that our SALT looses is ability to savour.

1 John 2:15-17 (NIV)
15 Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.
16  For everything in the world—the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does—comes not from the Father but from the world.
17  The world and its desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives for ever.

It was obvious from King Ahaz’s conduct that he did not LOVE God or God’s commandments. It’s important to check where our affections are leading us, are they drawing us away from God and Kingdom living? or are they drawing us closer to Him and Kingdom service?

When we love the world then we’ll become IMPRESSED with what the world has to offer instead of God. This leads us to consider what Ahaz saw when he visited the worldly King of Assyria after he helped him.

2) The Observation by King Ahaz.

“Saw an altar that was at Damascus.” Ahaz was impressed by an altar he saw in Damascus. This altar was for heathen ungodly worship, but that did not seem to bother King Ahaz. Why? because we already know from previous verses in our chapter that he was already involved in heathen worship, even killing one of his own children. (2 Kings 16:3,4). So no wonder when Ahaz observed that magnificent foreign alter he was impressed with it.

1 John 2:16 “For everything in the world—the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does—comes not from the Father but from the world.”

This world is always concerned with how things look, and that’s what impressed Ahaz. You may be tempted, when following worldly lusts to be impressed with how things look in this world. How people have fashioned their buildings, structures, clothes, vehicles and lives, etc… You might be impressed with their gadgets and gizmos, and tempted to long for them.

Having rejected Israel’s God, Ahaz was given to false religion which emphasizes ritual and outward form and appearance. All false religions aren’t concerned with the inner man or how to please or serve God. Their practice of religion is to see what they can get out of their god.

It’s never their inner character or conduct or the wishes or commands of God.

After being tempted and teased and impressed we now see where it leads King Ahaz.

3) The Orders from King Ahaz.

“He saw an altar in Damascus and sent to Uriah the priest a sketch of the altar, with detailed plans for its construction.”

King Ahaz wanted an altar just like the one in worldly Damascus to use at the Holy Temple of God.

What’s really strange is that in The Temple God there was already an holy altar. Judah didn’t need a new one. God had prescribed the pattern and form of Israel’s altar already.

Can you see what’s happening in King Ahaz’s life? He’d gone to the world for help, he’d become obliged to the world and now after being impressed with the world, Ahaz wanted to shape and pattern his whole life and worship to become more like the world. We shouldn’t be surprised by this, because our affections and desires will change once we wander away from God.

When we go to the world for help, we’ll end up far away from the Lord.

My friends, when we go to the world for help in times of trouble, then we too will become obliged to the world, we’ll become it’s servant instead of God’s, we’ll want to fulfil it’s desires and wishes and we’ll be obliged to do so. Secondly, because our hearts are already away from the Lord, our desires will begin to change and we’ll want to become more and more like the world, we’ll want to fashion and patter our whole life and our worship to become more worldly. We’ll become more concerned with what the world thinks about us rather than what God thinks.

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

When Ahaz was attacked his life was already in ruins, so he naturally followed his fleshly instincts and went to the world for help. He must have thought, “I’m being attacked by a big boy, I’m going to get a bigger boy to come and help me”… What should Ahaz have done? He should have gone to the BIGGEST and STRONGEST and MOST ABLE: God, the KING of the UNIVERSE… Amen! If he had followed God’s desires, he would have been able to withstand ANY Enemy Attack.

My friends, Don’t GO to the world for help in times of trouble or hardship. Instead, first, go directly to your LOVING Heavenly Father.

Last night on Alpha we discovered just how much our Father in Heaven longs to give us what we need.

INSTEAD: ASK YOUR HEAVENLY FATHER FOR HELP:

Luke 11:9-13 (NIV)
9  “So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.
10  For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.
11  “Which of you fathers, if your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead?
12  Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion?
13  If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!”

Jesus said, “I AM the light of the world, whoever follows me will never walk in darkness again”… King Ahaz was walking in the deepest darkness, look at the rest of chapter 16 to see just how far away from the LORD Ahaz took the true worship.

John 8:12 (NIV) “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.”

Sometimes we just don’t get because we forget to ASK.

Following Jesus will not make you immune from attacks or trouble, but when you face those trouble by faith, walking closely with Jesus, you will have total PEACE and even the deepest JOY that the world cannot understand.

When we forget to ASK, we’re walking in the darkness instead of the light and we’ll be led astray to follow worldly ways instead of God’s ways.

Ahaz made his choice long before an attack ever happened, my friends, if you are experiencing the blessings of peace now, keep close to Jesus, stay close to Him every day and He will guide your affections and heart’s desires.

Don.

 

Keep Going In The Spirit

Sowing and Reaping, God cannot be mocked

Daily Spirit & Word: 697:

Keep Going In The Spirit

Sowing and Reaping.

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

 Jacob: Genesis 27-31.

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

Time Doesn’t Matter:

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

Response:

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

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

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

Sowing to the Spirit or the Flesh:

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

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

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

Jesus is Calling: But Father God Draws You to HIM.

The New Birth by God's Holy Spirit. We're drawn to Jesus by Father God

Daily Spirit & Word: 614:

Jesus is Calling: But Father God is the ONE who DRAWS you to Faith, Trust and Repentance in Jesus.

We are drawn by Father God to faith and trust in the Lord Jesus Christ, but it is the Spirit that gives us the New Life.

Good morning my friends, I’ve been feeling really sad the last few days since I discovered that Angie (Andrea Driscoll) has died. I performed her wedding to David who died a few months after the wedding. Andrea was devastated by his death, but it had been expected for many months. Since David’s death Angie tried hard to live life to the full, she went on two trips (pilgrimages in Spain) walking over 300 miles each time. After all her hardships and experiences it was such a shock to hear that upon her return to London, she was found dead in her flat after a fall. Angie had a wonderful heart and was a great character. Everybody knew Angie’s problems, but she also had a real soft spot for the Lord Jesus. He alone knows if Angie was born of His Spirit. She was a breath of fresh air and also a bit of a storm too 🙂 We will definitely miss Angie in West Norwood. Many times I told Angie of the New Birth: I wonder if it ever got through to her?

The New Birth: After Jesus had finished teaching about Himself being the true bread from Heaven, the Living Bread, the Disciples (followers) found His teaching offensive and hard to take. For Jesus had been saying something that was and still is offensive to every sane person in the world: He said, “Unless you eat my flesh and drink my blood”. Upon hearing that weird claim and message, it was so shocking, that even though people knew Jesus had been performing the most amazing miracles, most of them now left Him and returned to their homes. Apart from the 12 Disciples, but even one of them was a ‘false’ convert and Jesus knew it. He went onto say that the NEW LIFE comes as we’re drawn to Jesus by the Father and given the new life by the Spirit.

John 6:60-69
60 On hearing it, many of his disciples said, “This is a hard teaching. Who can accept it?”
61  Aware that his disciples were grumbling about this, Jesus said to them, “Does this offend you?
62  What if you see the Son of Man ascend to where he was before!
63  The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing. The words I have spoken to you are spirit and they are life.
64  Yet there are some of you who do not believe.” For Jesus had known from the beginning which of them did not believe and who would betray him.
65  He went on to say, “This is why I told you that no-one can come to me unless the Father has enabled him.”
66  From this time many of his disciples turned back and no longer followed him.
67  “You do not want to leave too, do you?” Jesus asked the Twelve.
68  Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.
69  We believe and know that you are the Holy One of God.”

  So when you come to faith, don’t think that you’ve come by your own seeking or questing for the TRUTH, we come ONLY because the Father Himself draws us (leads us and guides us) to faith and trust in Jesus Christ.

Where did Jesus teach this before?

It was just before the Disciples Deserted Him:

John 6:44-48
44  “No-one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him, and I will raise him up at the last day.
45  It is written in the Prophets: ‘They will all be taught by God.’ Everyone who listens to the Father and learns from him comes to me.
46  No-one has seen the Father except the one who is from God; only he has seen the Father.
47  I tell you the truth, he who believes has everlasting life.
48  I am the bread of life.

John also wanted us to be certain of this teaching: so he, at the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, said at the beginning of His Gospel account:

John 1:4 “In him (Jesus) was life, and that life was the light of men.”
John 1:12-13 “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.”
John 3:5-7 “Jesus answered, “I tell you the truth, no-one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit. 6  Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. 7  You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You must be born again.'”

Unless we’ve been; BORN AGAIN by God’s HOLY SPIRIT and have received SPIRITUAL BIRTH we (no one) can enter into God’s Kingdom. It’s ONLY through being born of God’s Spirit that we can enter into Heaven. There’s no other way in.

How do we get this New Birth?

Jesus said it, “The Father draws us” He, God, gets us to the point of being able to see our need of Jesus. Once we Believe in Jesus, Repent of our sins and receive the Lord Jesus by faith, then through His Grace and Mercy God forgives us, cleanses us and the Holy Spirit comes into our being and gives us the New Spritual Life that we need to enable us to live for all eternity and enter into God’s Kingdom.

That is why Jesus said, “The Flesh counts for nothing, the Spirit gives spiritual life“…

If ever there was a TRINITARIAN MESSAGE: then it’s in the Gospel of John: Father, Son and Holy Spirit are all involved when a person comes to New Life through trusting in Jesus Christ’s death upon the Cross for their sins (Believing in, relying upon and cleaving to Jesus).

The Father Draws us to Jesus Christ: To ‘believe’ in His NAME: (The Messiah, the WORD of God, the Living Bread, the Light of the world, the Good Shepherd, the Gate for the sheep, the Way, the Truth, the Life, the Only Way to Heaven, the Heavenly Sacrifice, the Resurrected Lord, the Ascended Lord, the Saviour, the King of kings, the LORD of Lords,  the Lamb of God, the Servant King, the Giver of the Spirit, the Lion of Judah, the Bright Morning Star, the Golden One, the Alpha and the Omega {the first and last})

After we’ve come to TRUST completely and alone in Jesus (Jesus means; Deliverer or God Saves) The Christ (Christ means: Expected One or Messiah) for forgiveness, deliverance from sin and salvation from God’s wrath against sin, then the Holy Spirit will come into our being and give us the New Birth, the New Life, the GIFT of Eternal Life.

PRAISE GOD!

Make certain that you’ve come to believe and trust in Jesus Christ because He also said,

John 7:37-39
37  On the last and greatest day of the Feast, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink. 38  Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him.”
39  By this he meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were later to receive. Up to that time the Spirit had not been given, since Jesus had not yet been glorified.

Believe in HIM as the Scriptures have said: Not as man has said, but God’s Word, the Scriptures.

  • Only then will you be born again of God’s Holy Spirit.
  • Only then will you be able to live the Christian life,
  • Only then will you have assurance and hope of Heaven,
  • Only then will you be able to call God “Abba, Father”
  • Amen!

Praise the Lord!

It’s been my joy and my privilege to have known Angie, to share Jesus with her many times, but I’ve also got that same passion and desire to share Him with as many people as I can. Everyone needs to hear about Jesus Christ, because faith comes by hearing and also because everyone needs to be born again of God’s Holy Spirit. Let’s get busy leading people to Him. Be filled afresh with His Holy Spirit and ask for Him to lead you to those who are dying of Spiritual hunger today.  At a funeral on Friday I said, “BIBLE: Means: Basic Instruction Before Leaving Earth… Let’s believe in Jesus as the BIBLE has said. Amen!

Have an Super Saturday with Jesus,

Don.

NOTE: We can only know of our NEED for Deliverance and Forgiveness when we understand (are brought by God the Father and the Holy Spirit) to the point of knowing how we’ve offended God. We have all broken God’s Commandments: (Sin is the transgression of God’s Law: Commandments). God writes His Law upon the heart of every man. He gives every man a Conscience so that when we do wrong, we know it and are therefore guilty of failing to live God’s way, instead we choose to live our own way. We do this countless times in our life and when we make a practice of it, our conscience gets quieter until we can barely hear it any-longer. However, we can have our Conscience re-awakened by listening to God’s Commandments and Hearing the Word of the Lord. The Bible tells us that faith (which is a gift from God) comes by Hearing His Word.

Faith: When exercised or used, enables us by God’s Grace to be able to TRUST in the Lord Jesus Christ and His giving of His life upon the Cross for our own sins.

Faith: Enables us to rightly receive the Lord Jesus as our Lord and Saviour. When Jesus is your Lord, He will enable you to live a life of Holiness in the Power of the Holy Spirit.

Faith: Enables us to Know that we are Born of God’s Holy Spirit. We don’t rely upon our feelings, but we receive enough FAITH to know beyond a shadow of a doubt that we’ve been born of His Spirit and that God is our Heavenly Father.

Faith: Enables us to have a sure and certain HOPE of Eternal Life (the fear and sting of death is removed).

 

The Christian’s Enemies: THE FLESH.

Conflict Spirit and Flesh

Daily Spirit & Word 568:

Know Your Enemies: The Flesh.

Good morning my friends, I’m back with the mini-series on the Christian’s enemies; Catch the first one here : The World:

The Second Enemy: THE FLESH:

Whilst we face all kinds of enemies as followers of Jesus, they all come under three main headings; the world, the flesh and the devil. Today we’re going to face the most personal enemy the flesh life within each one of us.

A Christian is SAVED the moment they trust the Saviour for Salvation, the Battle is WON by the LORD, but the mopping up operations are not finished. Jesus defeated our greatest enemy on the Cross: DEATH, that is why it’s not on the Christian’s list of enemies. We are given the awesome gift of LIFE from the moment we’re born again.

THE FLESH

We’re not against our bodies, we live and long for our Eternal body, but we’re not against this temporary tent we’re living in, we’ve got to take care of our body, because it is the dwelling place of the Holy Spirit, our body here on earth is HOLY because God lives in every follower of Jesus.

1 Corinthians 6:19-20  “Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; 20  you were bought at a price. Therefore honour God with your body.” 

You BODY is HOLY: But there is still a part of you, even though you’re saved that desires to fulfill the lusts of the flesh and there’s a daily battle going on for your soul.

The BATTLE is in the MIND:

If we loose the battle here then we’re in danger of corrupting our flesh, it can lead to death.

What is LIFE like for those who are loosing the battle, for those who are being CONTROLLED by the SINFUL NATURE (The Flesh)?

God answers that question in His Word:

Romans 8:5-9  “Those who live according to the sinful nature (the flesh) have their minds set on what that nature (flesh) desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires.
6  The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace;
7  the sinful mind is hostile to God. It does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so.
8  Those controlled by the sinful nature cannot please God. 
9  You, however, are controlled not by the sinful nature but by the Spirit, if the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ.

Question: Do you have the HOLY SPIRIT living in and controlling you? Is He directing your life, giving you; self-control, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and love. These are the fruits that are produced in the life of a person who’s full of God’s Holy Spirit, they are the evidence that you’ve been born of the Spirit, they are the signs of the Kingdom within your life. We’re NOT perfectly patient, kind and loving etc, but we’re beginning to show that fruit. If your answer is “NO” or “I’m not sure”, then you need to check to see if you’ve really come to a genuine faith and trust in the Lord Jesus Christ. It’s no good knowing about Jesus, we need to know Jesus as LORD of our life, because as the verse above states, “if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ”. If we don’t belong to Christ: i.e. He’s NOT our LORD and SAVIOUR then we don’t have the Spirit and we don’t have LIFE.

However, even if you do HAVE the Holy Spirit, there is still a BATTLE going on: The FLESH is at war with the Spirit within.

Galatians 5: 17 “For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature. They are in conflict with each other, so that you do not do what you want.”

LIVE BY THE SPIRIT:

We can WIN this battle, but in order to do so we NEED the Holy Spirit.

Galatians 5:16-26

16  So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature.
17  For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature. They are in conflict with each other, so that you do not do what you want.
18  But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under law. 
19  The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery;
20  idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions
21  and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God. 
22  But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,
23  gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.
24  Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires.
25  Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.
26  Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.

LOOK AT THE FRUIT:

Sinful NATURE FRUIT:

The list is not exhaustive, there’s much more, but these are given by the LORD as examples of those who are loosing control, loosing the battle:

The Sinful NATURE (Flesh): Desires what is contrary to the Spirit:

‘Contrary’ means = Very opposed in nature, character or purpose. In an opposite direction.

It’s like the wind blowing against the sail-boat keeping it out of harbour when you want to get into the harbour for the night.

So the FLESH (Sinful Nature) is very opposed to the control and desires of the Holy Spirit.

They are in CONFLICT with each other: Conflict means = An open clash between two opposing groups, forces or individuals. It’s a state of opposition between persons, ideas or interests.

The HOLY SPIRIT’S DESIRES: He wants what’s best for you and a good, full, abundant, holy life; but the SINFUL NATURE is bent on self-destructive desires; greed, anger, rage, war, factions, drunkenness, drug addiction, human-trafficking, slave-trade, extortion, extortionate interest rates, keeping the poor – poor, competition, beating everybody else, capitalism (building your own empire at the expense of others), illicit sex, pornography, abuse, and the list can go on and on and on. We’re brilliant at inventing new ways to be AT WAR with the HOLY SPIRIT.

But notice what the passage said of Christians: Those who’re filled with, led by, and live by the Holy Spirit: “Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires.” When you came to Christ your SINFUL NATURE was CRUCIFIED (It was Killed, put to death, terminated). However, it’s NOT completely DEAD: It’s like the horrible thing when a chicken has it’s head cut off or it’s neck broken, it can still run around and it takes ages to die. So it is with the SIN NATURE in the follower of Jesus, though it has been killed it’s twitching and running around waiting to be buried and finally put to death. That’s not going to happen until we see the LORD. So we’ve got a constant daily battle to win against the FLESH NATURE.

The PASSIONS & DESIRES:

The passions and desires of the flesh (Sinful Nature) are obvious; so when they do become ATTRACTIVE to us again, guess what? We need MORE of God’s Holy Spirit: We’re probably running on empty.

I know that for ages I was driving around in my car with the fuel warning light on orange, then when I stopped looking at the warning signs it slipped into the RED. My friends, many Christians are not living in the GREEN, they are constantly living in the ORANGE danger zone of holiness. They love to live in a kind of borderland; half way between HOLY and SINFUL. We’ve got to STOP IT: Stay constantly re-fuelled by the HOLY SPIRIT.

In London, you’d be amazed, but there are not that many petrol stations (gas stations for our American friends), so we’ve kind of got an excuse for running around in the ORANGE (Warning) Zone on the fuel gauge. However, if you are doing that Spiritually, you are ignoring your God given Conscience (The Spiritual Fuel Gauge), it’s blaring out a warning message the moment you enter the ORANGE Zone of Danger: You are in DANGER of going into the RED (SIN and DEATH).

So God says, “LIVE BY the Spirit and you WILL NOT gratify the desires of the sinful nature”.

THE CHOICE: “Shall I live by the flesh or by the Spirit today?”

Listen my friends, to your God given Conscience today, is it shouting out a warning that you need to be re-fuelled by the Holy Spirit. God wants you to live a FULL, ABUNDANT, JOYFUL and PEACEFUL life in your Holy Spirit filled temple of a body today. However, He’ll not force you, every day you’ve got to make a choice which way you are going to live, but one day we will face the Judgement throne of the Lord Jesus Christ and will have to give an account of how we’ve lived, then we’ll face either rewards of losses in the Kingdom of Heaven.

I want all my friends who’re reading this to experience fullness, abundance and joy, peace and LOVE this week. I’m praying that you’ll see HIS hand at work in your life and He wants much more POWER than we can ever imagine. LIVE in the GREEN: In the FULLNESS of the Holy Spirit this week.

Ephesians 5:15-20  “Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise,
16  making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.
17  Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is.
18  Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit.
19  Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord, 20  always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Make the most of every opportunity, be filled with the Holy Spirit and sing praises to the Lord, giving thanks in everything, in the Name of the LORD Jesus Christ. Amen!

Have an awesome week.

Don.

 

Knowing Your Enemies: The World.

A Christian faces three enemies on the battlefield

Daily Spirit & Word 566: Know Your Enemies: The World.

Good morning my friends, it’s amazing but true that when you begin following the Prince of Peace, the Lord Jesus Christ, you come under attack from His ememies. Who would want to be an ‘enemy’ of the Lord Jesus? And why would anyone or anything want to take a stand against someone soooo loving, soooo kind, soooo gentle?

Well the truth is as a follower of Jesus Christ you have entered a Battlefield.

On a Battlefield, the missiles are exploding, guns are blazing, bombs are falling and booming, and casualties are mounting. Our first and natural inclination is to get off the Battlefield and save ourselves, but as a Christian you can’t.

As the wisest of Generals know, we should never underestimate our Enemies, but we need to know something from the off: Jesus is the WINNER of this Battle, but the Enemies will just not accept it yet. Satan has been defeated, when Jesus died upon the Cross, rose again from the Dead and Ascended into Heaven: So Satan now runs around like a wounded lion, but as you know a wounded lion is sometimes more dangerous and desperate than an uninjured lion.

Followers of Jesus need to know their Enemies: It’s been said that we have THREE major enemies: The World, The Flesh and The Devil.

Lets take them in turn over three studies:

Your First Enemy: “The WORLD”.

You might object about that, as I did, because isn’t the World that God made a beautiful and stunning place? I do love this amazing and awesome world and all that God has provided for our enjoyment. However, there is something that not quite ‘right’ with God’s Created World: Part of the Created World is Polluted: I’m not talking about Carbon emissions or global warming or nuclear waste though, but the pollution is; rebellion, rejection of God as King.

It’s that polluted part of God’s Good Creation that is in Rebellion against Him: That World System that loves the Darkness and Hates the Light:

John 3:18-21  “Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.
19  This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil20  Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. 21  But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what he has done has been done through God.” 

Everyone: Who does EVIL hates the Light (Jesus).

The World System that hates Jesus is “EVERYONE” who does EVIL.

What is EVIL?

You might say, well I’m not ‘EVIL’: Simply put, ‘evil’ is rejection of God and all that’s good. We do ‘evil’ when we; lie, steal, cheat, lust, disobey our parents, covet (inordinate desire of things of this world) and blaspheme God (by using God’s name or Jesus Christ as a swear word). Now we know what the Evil World is: But there’s more….

However, we don’t really know the full effects of the sinful decisions that Adam and Eve made in the Garden of Eden and how that decision has infected every human soul since. We’re born into that same kind rebellion, we’re born on the opposite side, we’re born opposing Jesus, we’re born an enemy of the LIGHT.

Whenever anyone comes into the Light it’s as if they are like those who escaped from Communism during the Cold War: They had to sneak out of Russia or those Eastern Block countries that were part of the Russian Federation. The were called “Defectors“: When you come over to Jesus camp, when you come across over to the side of light, you are defecting against the rule and reign of Satan and the world system under his authority.

Evil is what we are when we are born: Because we’re born into sinful rebellion against the Creator and His wishes. We’re in the camp of the enemy until we defect (Repent and Trust in Jesus side).

We’re Born LOVING Rebellion:

Just as the Russians viewed Defectors as Enemies of the State: So Satan and his world system views everyone who comes over to the side of Jesus as Enemies: So your first enemy is the World (Governed by it’s Ruller: Satan). It’s the Evil World System, but not the world that God Created Good. (Hope you can now see how the world is polluted?).

What is this Rebellious World Like:

We know what living in rebellion against God is like, if we’ve traveled from the Darkness into the Light: We must have come through the darkness ourselves, we must have passed over into the light or we would not be Christians, we would not be followers of Jesus yet.

From DARKNESS to LIGHT: From Satan’s Evil World Order to the Rule and Reign of King Jesus.

Isaiah 9:2  “The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned. “

Remedy: The Soul that Seeks The Light:

“The People Walking In Darkness Have Seen A Great Light”

It’s like there’s light, hope, joy, love, peace at the end of a long-dark-tunnel.

Those Defecting from Russia were escaping a cruel and hard Dictatorial Communist regime and crossing over to freedom in the free Western world governed by Human rights ruled by Democracy.

A Christian is Defecting: A world system ruled by Satan, who wants to enslave people and keep them in bondage. He wants to blind people so that they cannot see the light. He wants to keep people in Darkness and ignorance of their true condition.

Isaiah and John wrote the same thing;

In John’s Gospel we get a clear indication of How we can know the difference between the Kingdoms of Light and Darkness:

John 1:1-13
1  In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. (Jesus is God).
2  He was with God in the beginning. (Jesus is the Eternal God).
3  Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. (Jesus is the Creator).
4  In him was life, and that life was the light of men. (Jesus GIVES life to everyone).
5  The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it. (Jesus came into the world).
6  There came a man who was sent from God; his name was John. (John the Baptist).
7  He came as a witness to testify concerning that light, so that through him all men might believe.
8  He himself was not the light; he came only as a witness to the light.
9  The true light that gives light to every man was coming into the world. 
10  He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognise him.
11  He came to that which was his own (the Jewish People), but his own did not receive him.
12  Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God— (Every Christian who comes over into Jesus side in this battle becomes a child of God).
13  children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God. (The Holy Spirit of God brings about the new birth, you are born-again into God’s Eternal Family when you trust in Jesus Christ for Salvation or when you defect out of Satan’s World System)

The DARK Night Of The Soul: In this amazing and difficult book, John of the Cross reveals the dilemma for mankind; crossing over from Darkness into the Light: He calls it’

“Dark Night Of The Soul:”  goes on to say; “We may say that there are three reasons for which this journey made by the soul to union with God is called night. The first has to do with the point from which the soul goes forth, for it has gradually to deprive itself of desire for all the worldly things which it possessed, by denying them to itself; the which denial and deprivation are, as it were, night to all the senses of man. The second reason has to do with the mean, or the road along which the soul must travel to this union — that is, faith, which is likewise as dark as night to the understanding. The third has to do with the point to which it travels — namely, God, Who, equally, is dark night to the soul in this life. These three nights must pass through the soul — or, rather, the soul must pass through them — in order that it may come to Divine union with God.

Ascent of Mount Carmel.”

The Three:

Worldly Things: Love for the world and it’s pleasures, the sensual world, the rebellious world.

FAITH: Darkness, we don’t naturally possess faith. We don’t naturally understand faith.

God: We’re not born knowing God, we know that He exists, but we don’t know Him personally, we’re born estranged from God, we’re born in Darkness needing the light of faith and Jesus before we can ever see the light and cross over from the Darkness of this world into His Kingdom of light.

There’s nothing wrong with the things of this world, but it’s our inordinate affection for them: We want the world too much. We want to possess the world and have it all for ourselves, but this inordinate affection is nothing short of Idolatry: Making the World our God: Loving the World more than the Creator who made it.

Escape: The Bible tells us the Christian has escaped the ‘corruption of the world’.

2 Peter 1:3-4 His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. 4  Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.

So we need to say, “Goodbye” to the World System and it’s Ruler.

The first enemy is the World for the Christian, the next Enemy is our own flesh and our arch-enemy is Satan.

PRAYER: Oh Lord Jesus Christ, we’ve seen today just how important it is to know about our enemies. Today we’ve thought about the fact that when we are born, we’re born into a world system that is in rebellion against You. Lord Jesus, since I’ve come over to Your side by believing and trusting in You as my Lord (KING) and Master, please help me to live in this world, knowing that I’m part of a different Kingdom, that I am Your Ambassador Lord, please help me to represent You with love, gentleness, faithfulness and honour today. Please keep me from loving this world so much that I’m falling away from You. I don’t want to have an inordinate affection for this world Lord, so help me to LOVE YOU with all my heart, mind, soul and strength. Thank You Lord for setting me free from the World and letting me see the awesome light of Your Kingdom. Amen.

Have an Awesome Saturday in the Kingdom of the KING of Kings my friends.

Don.

NOTE: The Gospel Good NEWS of Jesus.

Discover: The Spirit Filled Christian Life.