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.

 

Following A Guiding Star: More Than A Fairy Tale.

The guiding Star will lead you to the Saviour today

Daily Spirit & Word; 654; More than a fairy tale.

Good morning my friends, I just happened to be watching East Enders last night, well not really, I caught a few lines before grasping for the remote to turn channels 🙂 But before I could turn it over, I heard Stacy utter these words, “It’s all just a silly fairy-tale, a made-up story, all that following a bright star in the sky”… I’m sure that Stacy echoes the sentiments of many people in our land today, but there are some, myself included, who firmly believe every written word: The Virgin birth (impossible), the guiding star (impossible), the opening up of heaven to see thousands and thousands of angels praising God, the birth in a stable, the wise men’s visit, etc etc etc… I believe the whole account in the Bible and it fills me with true amazement, wonder and joy every Christmas.

Matthew 2:1-12
1 After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem
2  and asked, “Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star in the east and have come to worship him.”
3  When King Herod heard this he was disturbed, and all Jerusalem with him.
4  When he had called together all the people’s chief priests and teachers of the law, he asked them where the Christ was to be born.
5  “In Bethlehem in Judea,” they replied, “for this is what the prophet has written:
6  ” ‘But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for out of you will come a ruler who will be the shepherd of my people Israel.’ “
7  Then Herod called the Magi secretly and found out from them the exact time the star had appeared.
8  He sent them to Bethlehem and said, “Go and make a careful search for the child. As soon as you find him, report to me, so that I too may go and worship him.”
9  After they had heard the king, they went on their way, and the star they had seen in the east went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was.
10  When they saw the star, they were overjoyed.
11  On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshipped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold and of incense and of myrrh.
12  And having been warned in a dream not to go back to Herod, they returned to their country by another route.

MORE THAN A FAIRY TAIL.

Jesus birth is much more than a fairy tale or folk lore, it’s a scientific fact. 😎  Jesus was born, and I watched a documentary a few years ago by secular scientists who proved that the alignment of the stars around about the time of Jesus birth actually happened (yes it was in colour :-). However, even if they could find no evidence for it, or if a new documentary comes along and declares, “It never happened”, that would not shake my faith in the veracity of the Biblical account. Why? Because those who recorded for us the pages of the Bible were not motivated by money, notoriety or fame, they were moved by God the Holy Spirit: The Gospels ARE Scripture; the Holy Scriptures are inspired by God; men motivated and guided by Him to give an accurate, honest and truthful account of the Saviour’s birth, life, teachings, death and resurrection.

I know it’s true, because there is only one thing that’s impossible for God, God cannot lie. He’s got to tell the truth, because God is TRUTH. The Bible tells us that God cannot lie: Jesus is God and He said about Himself, “I AM the way, the truth and the life”… He often said, “truly, truly I tell you”… He emphasised the fact that He was always telling the truth. My friends, you can TRUST that Jesus birth and all the events surrounding it; from the Angels, the Wise Men, the Shepherds and the Virgin Birth are all TRUE.

WHICH STAR ARE YOU FOLLOWING?

My friends, you can either follow a SOAP STAR or you can follow the GUIDING STAR.

  • One will lead you away from Jesus;
  • The other will direct you to the SAVIOUR OF THE WORLD.

You may be one of the doubters like Stacy in Eastenders, or you might be looking forward to Christmas this year. Perhaps the story doesn’t fill you with joy, wonder and praise, but it can and it will if you will just come in repentance and faith and trust in Jesus Christ. Be like one of the Magi (those wise men from the East), who followed the start and found the promised Messiah, Emmanuel (God with us) in Jesus Christ.

JESUS CAN BE: YOUR EMMANUEL.

Emmanuel: Means = God With Us.

Jesus promised all those who took Him as their Saviour:

“I will never leave you, I am with you, even to the end of the age”…

He’ll be your Emmanuel the moment you trust Him as Lord and forever.

I’m really looking forward to Christmas, it’s a fantastical good time to read annually the events and ancient prophetic Scriptures that foretold all the events surrounding our Saviour’s birth so accurately for us.

Our faith, the Christian faith, doesn’t rest upon EVIDENCE alone, but the inward witness of the Holy Spirit who confirms and illuminates these events even more. When I read the Bible I’m filled with a JOY that only God can give. It’s impossible to experience that JOY fully, without being born of God’s Holy Spirit. No wonder, like Stacy in Eastenders, the world thinks it’s foolishness. Get God and you’ll get ILLUMINATION of His Word. Be like the Wise men, get your own Emmanuel: Jesus is with you forever. Amen.

The Soap Star: Stacy in Eastenders, will lead you away from Jesus.
The Guiding Star: Will lead you to put your faith and trust in Him.
Who will you follow?

Praise You; Father, Son and Holy Spirit; Almighty God. Amen.

Don.

God’s Reward For Those Who Endure Persecution

Persecution of Christians

Daily Spirit & Word: 540: God’s Reward For Those Who Endure Persecution.

Standing Firm To The End.

Good morning my friends, we had an amazing visit from e-Gangs Website in church yesterday. It’s an off-shoot ministry of David Wilkerson’s “Teen Challenge”, they are going back to their roots, reaching people who’re involved in the street-gang culture and those who may be drawn into that way of life. Everyone who spoke yesterday had a background in drugs, imprisonment and gangs or street life. They gave powerful testimonies of how God had delivered them from the darkness into the light.

What struck me deeply was the fact that God can and will reach into the hearts of those that we deem ‘un-reachable’. There is no heart or soul that is not like an open book to the Holy Spirit. He can penetrate all the passwords and access the secret places. On the outside a tough gang member looks scary and must appear to be so to his friends, but more often than not on the inside is a frightened, frustrated and fearful little boy. He’s been looking for; family, security, friendship and fun all his life. He’ll find that in gang-culture and we also know that once a person comes to Jesus and surrenders, they’ll also get that in God’s Kingdom Family. Once you’ve got Jesus, you’ve got family and friends.

It was Paul’s wife who spoke powerfully yesterday from God’s Word about Jacob, who was touched in the HOLLOW PLACE and that’s what God needs to do with each and every one of us too; to touch us in the places of need: We fill that void with the things of this world, but they were meant to be filled with the one who created the world and gave us life.

Afterwards, I was speaking with someone who’s family didn’t understand what had happened to him since he trusted Jesus. They saw a change in his nature, character and lifestyle, but they were not yet ready for that kind of change and rejected him. So don’t be surprised if people don’t ‘get you’ once you get Jesus.

“Don’t be surprised if people don’t get you once you get Jesus.”

Mark 13:9-13 (NIV) Persecutions In The End Times. 
9  “You must be on your guard. You will be handed over to the local councils and flogged in the synagogues. On account of me you will stand before governors and kings as witnesses to them. 10  And the gospel must first be preached to all nations. 11  Whenever you are arrested and brought to trial, do not worry beforehand about what to say. Just say whatever is given you at the time, for it is not you speaking, but the Holy Spirit. 12  “Brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child. Children will rebel against their parents and have them put to death. 13  All men will hate you because of me, but he who stands firm to the end will be saved.

Pilgrim’s Progress:

At the end of Pilgrim’s journey, just before the gates of Heaven, there was another doorway that led to Hell. The Christian must stand firm with Jesus Christ all the way to the end. He never promised us and easy ride through life. Jesus didn’t say, “Come to me and trust me as Saviour and everything will be OK from that point on”. In fact, Jesus warned His followers of the opposition and persecution they would endure for His sake. Just because they were followers of Christ, they’d be hated, lied about and betrayed.

What’s most difficult is the fact that members of a Christian’s own family would betray them, even when that betrayal meant death. This has happened my friends; in History and even today, Christians are being taken to courts, even here in the United Kingdom (UK), just for being obedient followers of Jesus Christ. We’re living in an increasingly ‘Christianophobic’ society; there’s a deep fear and suspicion of believers. Many things are being said about us; “Christians are narrow-minded”, “Christians are bigots”, “Christians hate people” etc…  These accusations are not new, the world has hated Christians from the beginning.

We’ll admit to following a ‘narrow-path’ that leads to eternal life, but that doesn’t mean we’re narrow-minded, quite the opposite in fact, because we know that the Gospel is for everyone, the good news is for all people on earth; that’s the most open minded kind of message I’ve ever heard.

“Christians are Bigots”: What about that statement? What is a Bigot?

Meaning of Bigot: A prejudiced person who is intolerant of any opinions differing from his own.

Well, we’ve got to admit that in some instances we’re guilty of being Bigoted. We do hold opinions, but they are not our own, they come from God. We don’t follow our own understanding or our own logic or reasoning, but we hold unswervingly to the opinions, decrees, dictates and commands of our LORD.

There is an element of truth in every false statement and characterisation of Christians. We can be seen as being bigoted because we will not be shaken from our belief that the plain meaning of God’s Word has a final say in any matter relating to life. However, what’s confusing for the people in the world, those who are still in darkness, is that not everyone who calls themselves ‘Christian’ actually follows God’s Word. It’s only those who are filled and empowered by God’s Holy Spirit who will endure all hardships, accusations and trials to the end.

  • Have you been feeling persecuted for your faith lately?
  • Are you enduring or are you feeling like you need to give in and follow the crowd, follow the world’s way?

Jesus has warned us that the world hates (cannot tolerate) committed followers of His teachings.

Not only will you experience this intolerant attitude from the world, but they’ll not be understanding either. They will not take time to sit down with believers and ask them, “Why is it that you think this way?”

Why? Why don’t they want to understand? Why will they run away from a knowledge and understanding of why Christians only follow God’s Word? It’s because deep down, they already KNOW, because God has written His Laws upon their hearts too.

Hebrews 8:10 (NIV) “This is the covenant I will make with the house of Israel after that time, declares the Lord. I will put my laws in their minds and write them on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people.”

Hebrews 10:16 16  “This is the covenant I will make with them after that time, says the Lord. I will put my laws in their hearts, and I will write them on their minds.” 

So people who don’t yet know Jesus as LORD, who are still in the darkness, already have God’s LAW (Moral, Holy Standards) written upon their hearts and minds. That’s why they don’t want to know why Christians will not move or change their minds about certain ways of living or being in the world today, because they already KNOW, they just don’t want to live God’s way.

Staying With Jesus To The END:

God wants you to persevere to the end: To HOLD Unswervingly (that could be called in a bigoted or narrow-minded way) to the hope we profess.

Hebrews 10:23-25 23  Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.
24  And let us consider how we may spur one another on towards love and good deeds. 25  Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching. 

Remembering HOW you were delivered from DARKNESS into the LIGHT is critically important for believers today: Because this will encourage you to endure to the END.

Hebrews 10:32-36  “Remember those earlier days after you had received the light, when you stood your ground in a great contest in the face of suffering. 33  Sometimes you were publicly exposed to insult and persecution; at other times you stood side by side with those who were so treated. 34  You sympathised with those in prison and joyfully accepted the confiscation of your property, because you knew that you yourselves had better and lasting possessions. 35  So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded. 36  You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised.”

What is it that God has promised those who endure to the end? The CROWN of LIFE:

God’s PROMISE: The Crown of LIFE:

James 1:12 “Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.”

If we keep in mind eternity, then we’ll always be able to endure any hardship.

This place (anywhere on earth) is NOT the Christian’s HOME or Home Country, because our HOME and our HOPE is HEAVEN.

It is my hope and prayer that every true follower of the Lord Jesus Christ will find fellowship, family and fun whilst here on the earth, but also that if and when things get tough, you’ll also be able to endure every hardship to the end. Praying for Christ’s indwelling power for an exciting week.

Have an awesome week, enduring all things for Christ’s sake.

Don.

 

433: You need FREEDOM to be able to Follow Jesus.

433 Free to Follow Jesus

Daily Spirit & Word, 433: You need FREEDOM to be able to Follow Jesus.

What You Are FOLLOWING In Life: Reveals who you belong to.

Good morning my friends, we had a great night of making Pancakes with the CRU (Youth Group) last night. We did it so they would know about Shrove Tuesday, the day before Lent begins. Lent is the 40 Days before Easter Sunday.
Today, I want to focus on FOLLOWING, because what we follow reveals so much to us. The following little passages from Ephesians and John show that only through Jesus Christ can we be truly free to live God’s way in this world.

Ephesians 2:1-5
1 As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins,
2  in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient.
3  All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our sinful nature and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature objects of wrath.
4  But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy,
5  made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved.
What a wonderful passage of the Bible, it’s pregnant with meaning for the Saints in Christ Jesus today. Just look at the list of themes in these five short verses;
  • Dead
  • Transgressions
  • Sins
  • Following the ways of the world,
  • Following the ways of Satan,
  • Satan at work in those who are Disobedient (those not yet brought to the obedience of Christ)
  • All of us were like that,
  • Gratifying the cravings,
  • Sinful nature,
  • Following it’s desires,
  • Following it’s thoughts,
  • We were objects of wrath,
  • God’s great love for us,
  • God’s great mercy,
  • LIFE, made us alive with Christ Jesus,
  • We are saved by God’s Grace through faith in Jesus Christ.
WOWzer! When you look at it like that, there is a whole sermon in each topic. But today I hope to unpack it in as few words as the LORD gives me today.
The word that jumps out most for me today is FOLLOWING. Can you see from the passage above that before we come to Christ and begin to follow Him as our Lord and Saviour, before His Commands and instructions become a priority in our life, we are simply DEAD (Spiritually) following Satan’s lead in every aspect of our Character;
Following the ways of the world: The world is following the plans and purposes of Satan, the ‘world’, meaning everyone who is not BORN OF THE SPIRIT. The world’s ways are obviously evil; just think about our own country for a few minutes. In the News recently we’ve seen how people (ordianry people) who don’t pay their TAX to the HMRC (Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs) will be taken to court and forced to eitheir pay a fine or serve some time in prison. But the ways of the world dictate that we should “AVOID PAYING AS MUCH TAX AS WE CAN GET AWAY WITH” am I right? There are Tax Advisors who’ll tell you all the legal loop-holes that will help you avoid paying as much tax as the Inland Revenue wants from you.
Jesus on the other hand, Commanded Christians to PAY THEIR TAXES IN FULL:
Mark 12:17 (NLT) “Well, then,” Jesus said, “give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar, and give to God what belongs to God.” His reply completely amazed them.”
NOW it’s been revealed in the Media: on TV and in the Press, that the richest people in the land have been avioding paying their taxes for years in some cases this amounted to Millions of ££££££££…. AND they were NOT prosecuted. It’s not a fair system, a poor man gets prosecuted and the rich man goes free. That’s unjust, unfair, not right. It’s obviously the way of the world, but it’s only following the Spirit who’s at work in the hearts of those who are disobedient, those who don’t yet know Jesus Christ as Lord. For if they did, they be fair, they’d be just, they would not give preferential treatment to the rich and powerful.
Following: the ways of world, Satan,
Following the ways of the sinful nature,
Following it’s desires and thoughts:
The Sinful Nature: lives in disobedience to the ways of Christ Jesus, will not submit to Him, indeed the Bible tells us it cannot, until it has been set free from Satan’s grip, the Sinful nature desires the exact opposite of the Holy Spirit, they are at war with each other.

NEW LIFE: In Christ Jesus.

Freedom to Follow Jesus.

However, though this passage is filled with so much revelation of what we were once like, before we came to trust in Jesus Christ by His awesome Grace through faith in His death upon the cross for our sins, now it’s revealed what He actually gave us;
Life: We are no longer DEAD in Transgression and Sin, but we are ALIVE in Christ Jesus. What does that new life in Christ mean?
We are no longer pulled by the ways of the world.
We can see the ways of the world (Satan’s ways) for what they are, evil.
We can understand now why people do things they way that they do, because they are objects of God’s wrath, they a filled with the evil spirit of Satan, they are only blindly following his commands and demands and, following the impulses of their hearts and foolish sinful fleshly lusts.
We can know just how much we’ve been set free from when we trusted Christ,
It really brings home the truth of what Jesus said in the following passage, please take time to read it very carefully. If you are following this teaching on Daily Spirit & Word Website then you’ll see how I’ve highlighted the very important words in this passage below. The words in brackets are my commentary upon that verse.
John 8:31-44 (NIV)
31 To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. 32  Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” (Coming to Jesus you’ll be set free from Sin & Satan).
33  They answered him, “We are Abraham’s descendants and have never been slaves of anyone. How can you say that we shall be set free?” (They didn’t understand they were in bondage to Satan 2 Cor 4:4 “blinded by Satan”).
34  Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, everyone who sins is a slave to sin. (When we can’t stop sinning, we’re in bondage to it).
35  Now a slave has no permanent place in the family, but a son belongs to it for ever.
36  So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed. (You’ll now if you’ve been set free if you are free from sin and Satan’s ability to control your thoughts, passions and desires. Jesus sets you free).
37  I know you are Abraham’s descendants. Yet you are ready to kill me, because you have no room for my word.
38  I am telling you what I have seen in the Father’s presence, and you do what you have heard from your father.”
39  “Abraham is our father,” they answered. “If you were Abraham’s children,” said Jesus, “then you would do the things Abraham did. (They thought they were saved, so many are blinded by Satan like this in the Church, they think they are saved because granny was a Christian or because they come to church, but they’ve never come to faith and trust in Christ Jesus yet).
40  As it is, you are determined to kill me, a man who has told you the truth that I heard from God. Abraham did not do such things.
41  You are doing the things your own father does.” “We are not illegitimate children,” they protested. “The only Father we have is God himself.” (Jesus is hinting here that Satan is their father).
42 Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love me, for I came from God and now am here. I have not come on my own; but he sent me.
43  Why is my language not clear to you? Because you are unable to hear what I say. (Satan blinds the eyes and ears, so they can’t see the Good News or Hear it and be saved).
44  You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desire. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies. (Now Jesus has told them plainly, until they TRUST IN HIM they are in bondage to sin, slaves to sin and Satan is their father.)
Can you see now my friends, until we come to Christ we are Following Satan; who influences and rules over the affaris of this world that will not submit to Christ Jesus as Lord. Until we come to Christ, we are also following the impulses, desires and thoughts of our own sinful and rebellious evil nature.
To be FREE from Satan and Sin: We must come to Christ.
When we come to Christ, we are made ALIVE in Him. We’re given NEW LIFE (Born Again)…
John 1:12 “Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God.”
 My friends, God is your FATHER if you’ve trusted in Christ Jesus.
Satan is your father if you’ve not been set free and given this new life yet.
Come to Jesus, receive Him as your LORD now, trust in His death upon the cross for your sin and you too will be set free and able to follow Him in the power of the Holy Spirit.
I hope you all have a wonderful Saturday my friends, it’s so good to know what our FREEDOM IN CHRIST looks like. If you’ve got time read the passages below for further help and study. They are so closely linked to the theme today, it would be a real shame to miss what the Holy Spirit is saying to you.
Don.
NOTE: Can also be read at Daily Spirit & Word: http://spiritandword.co.uk/category/daily-spirit-word/
Catch Up on previous Spirit & Word Devotions by clicking above.
I’ll be moving over 400 Daily Devotions for you to enjoy at your leisure.
It’s difficult to archive on Facebook, but a website allows so many more ways to search through material
For Further Study: Following: Holy Spirit / Christ Jesus as LORD.

Freedom to Follow Jesus

Following the Way of the Holy Spirit: IN Christ Jesus.
Romans 8:1-17
1 Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus,
2  because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death.
3  For what the law was powerless to do in that it was weakened by the sinful nature, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful man to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in sinful man,
4  in order that the righteous requirements of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the sinful nature but according to the Spirit.
5  Those who live according to the sinful nature have their minds set on what that nature 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.
10  But if Christ is in you, your body is dead because of sin, yet your spirit is alive because of righteousness.
11  And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit, who lives in you.
12  Therefore, brothers, we have an obligation—but it is not to the sinful nature, to live according to it.
13  For if you live according to the sinful nature, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live,
14  because those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.
15  For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.”
16  The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children.
17  Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.
The Acts of the Sinful Nature Are Obvious:
Galatians 5:1-26 (NIV)
1 It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.
2  Mark my words! I, Paul, tell you that if you let yourselves be circumcised, Christ will be of no value to you at all.
3  Again I declare to every man who lets himself be circumcised that he is required to obey the whole law.
4  You who are trying to be justified by law have been alienated from Christ; you have fallen away from grace.
5  But by faith we eagerly await through the Spirit the righteousness for which we hope.
6  For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision has any value. The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.
7  You were running a good race. Who cut in on you and kept you from obeying the truth?
8  That kind of persuasion does not come from the one who calls you.
9  “A little yeast works through the whole batch of dough.”
10  I am confident in the Lord that you will take no other view. The one who is throwing you into confusion will pay the penalty, whoever he may be.
11  Brothers, if I am still preaching circumcision, why am I still being persecuted? In that case the offence of the cross has been abolished.
12  As for those agitators, I wish they would go the whole way and emasculate themselves!
13  You, my brothers, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature; rather, serve one another in love.
14  The entire law is summed up in a single command: “Love your neighbour as yourself.”
15  If you keep on biting and devouring each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other.

The Acts Of The Christian Controlled by the Holy Spirit.

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.
Can also be read at Daily Spirit & Word: On St Luke’s Church Facebook Page
Catch Up on previous Spirit & Word Devotions by clicking above.
I’ll be moving over 400 Daily Devotions for you to enjoy at your leisure.
It’s difficult to archive on Facebook, but a website allows so many more ways to search through material