The LORD is my Shepherd

no fear in death when Jesus is the Good Shepherd

Daily Spirit & Word: 765: The LORD is My Shepherd.

The Lord is MY Shepherd:

Good morning my friends, it was such a wonderful privilege to conduct the funeral of one of the oldest saints in St Luke’s Church, June Bailleau. She died in full assurance that Jesus Christ was her Good Shepherd. So we could celebrate her life and be comforted with the assurance she’s gone home to be with her LORD forever. There were awesome testimonies about June, the kind of woman she was, her dedication to the Lord, her love and service in church and community, but most importantly how she longed for everyone she knew to come to the point of knowing Jesus for themselves. She wanted me to proclaim the Good News of Jesus at her funeral. So I did, here’s the message that I gave.

A few days before she died, June couldn’t speak clearly, but she mouthed the words of this Psalm perfectly from memory as I read it out to her.

SCRIPTURE READING: Psalm 23

The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: He leadeth me beside the still waters, He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for Thou art with me; Thy rod and Thy staff they comfort me. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies; Thou anointest my head with oil; My cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.

I just love the way that King David has used the imagery of a Shepherd and his flock to describe the CARE and COMFORT which every one of God’s sheep can experience. However, it’s not just a group of sheep, but an individual sheep, my friends, Jesus wants to take the greatest care of your life too.

He begins by describing the comfort and care of His Lord for him in life.

He sums up all of God’s care in one phrase, “I shall not want.”

“I shall not want”

King David LACKS NOTHING, because his Shepherd cares for all of his earthly needs.

Let’s Look at the ways the Shepherd Looks After His Sheep in this LIFE:

  • He Leads me besides still waters: Jesus said, “NEVER THIRST AGAIN” & “Calmed the Storms” & “Walked on Water”…
  • He makes me lie down in green pastures: “NEVER HUNGER”

John 6:35 (NLT) “Jesus replied, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry again. Whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.”

These two phrases tell me Jesus is concerned about my earthly existence as well as what follows next, my SPIRITUAL life.

  • He leads me in paths of righteousness: “I AM The Way, The Truth and The LIFE: No man comes to the Father except through Me” John 14:6.

How does the Good Shepherd lead us? With His ROD (Rod of correction: A small rod that shepherds would use to prod the sheep and keep them on the right path) With HIS STAFF (The STAFF is a bigger stick that shepherds would use to rescue the sheep when they got into difficulty).

My friends, Jesus is caring so much for those who become His sheep today. He disciplines, prunes (Luke 15, John 15) He guides (John 16-17 by His Holy Spirit).

LOOK AT THE WAY THE GOOD SHEPHERD LOOKS AFTER HIS SHEEP IN DEATH:

Jesus, the Good Shepherd, is not just concerned with our life down here on the earth: When we’re going through the doorway of death, He’s right there with His sheep too.

DEATH: King David’s Shepherd doesn’t ABANDON Him through death, so he goes on to describe the Lord’s presence in death.

“Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for Thou art with me.”

Passing through death, David says, is like walking through dark shadows. That would normally be very frightening indeed. I’ve been called out to people who are just about to die and they are petrified, scared to death of dying. They call on a minister out of FEAR: I always come to them and proclaim the Gospel: When faced with DEATH people always REPENT of their sins.

Going through DEATH for everyone of us  is not pleasant experience, that’s why nobody wants to die.

However, if we are one of God’s Sheep, when we do pass through the dark shadow of death, there is NO FEAR…

Here we are COMFORTED with this TRUTH: That our LORD JESUS Christ, The Good Shepherd, who provided for all our earthly needs in life, is also with us as we pass through the dark doorway into ETERNITY.

For those who are passing through DEATH with Christ, there is NOTHING to FEAR: Why? Because Jesus is right there with us.

“Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for Thou art with me.”

 

HOW DO WE GET JESUS TO BE OUR GOOD SHEPHERD?

WHILE THIS PSALM ASSURES US THAT GOD IS WITH US AS WE PASS THROUGH THE SHADOW OF DEATH, IT DOES NOT TELL US HOW THIS HAPPENS.

King David was specially chosen by God, he was unique and had amazing experiences of God in life and knew and trusted God. But it wasn’t until Jesus came to this world, that ordinary people could also have that same kind of assurance.

One thing I am assured about June Bailleau is this, She KNEW JESUS as her Good Shepherd. She’d repented of her sins and trusted Jesus as her Lord. She loved the LORD, and would be singing His praises until her last breath, which I can testify that she did.

Well, Jesus described Himself as the Good Shepherd:

He said,

John 10:10-11 (NIV)
10  The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.
11  “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.

Notice The LINK: The Good Shepherd: The LORD is MY Shepherd.

Jesus died on the CROSS for the Sheep. “The Good Shepherd lays down His life for the sheep”…

John 10:14-15 (NIV)
14  “I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me, (June KNEW Jesus)
15  just as the Father knows me and I know the Father, and I lay down my life for the sheep. (June was assured Jesus had given His life for her).

Jesus is the Good Shepherd: He lays down His LIFE for the Sheep.

But why? Why did Jesus need to give His life for the Sheep? 

It’s because without Jesus DEATH on the CROSS: We would all still be in our sins, we would be frightened on our way through the DARK SHADOWS of DEATH. We most certainly would be frightened.

ALL HAVE SINNED: God’s WORD, The Bible, tells us clearly, “ALL HAVE SINNED”… 

YBH: Yes! But how?

We’ve all broken God’s Commandments: Lied, Stolen, Cheated, Disobeyed Parents, Murdered (Hated), Not kept the Sabbath, Not put God first in our lives.

God’s Commandments reveal just how much we’ve all sinned. NO SINNER can enter into the Kingdom of Heaven: If we were able to creep into Heaven with our sins still on us, we’d contaminate Heaven.

We THINK We’re Good Enough: Most people think they are ‘good enough’.

I’m reminded of a time when as a young Electrical Mechanic recruit waiting to be drafted to my first ship, having finished my courses, I was put to work on the Royal Navy Pig Farm: About 40000 pigs to look after: It’s a very smelly affair. You’d only need to be with those pigs for a few minutes and you’d begin to smell like them. After working with the pigs I’d take a shower, spray myself with deodorant and put on clean clothes. Then going to the Dining Hall with all the other Sailors, we’d line up to get in. There was a Petty Officer at the Door: He was controlling the entrance, letting in a few at a time, there were hundreds of us. I noticed there was something strange happening in the queue, there was a gap in front of me and a gap behind, I didn’t take any notice, but when I eventually got to the front of the queue, the Petty Officer said, “Go and get a shower, you stink, you can’t come into the Dining Hall smelling like that”… I was so embarrassed, I’d had a shower, sprayed myself with deodorant and thought I smelled clean, but the stench of the PIGS was still on my body.

My friends, I thought I was clean enough, I thought I could get in, I’d cleaned myself up: Oh My friends, there are so many people who’re hoping that they’ll be GOOD ENOUGH to get into Heaven when they pass through the dark shadow of death. They’ll be sadly shocked, because, JUST ONE SIN in your life: Will contaminate your SOUL and you’ll be unfit for Heaven for all eternity.

It’s my experience from going out to share the Gospel with folks on the streets every week, people who don’t go to church, people who are not religious, that they do believe in Heaven and they think they are going to be good enough to get in. My friends, we’re encouraged by God’s Word not to fool ourselves: No SINNER can get into HEAVEN.

Listen to what God’s Word tells us: DON’T FOOL YOURSELVES…

1 Corinthians 6:9-11 (NLT)
9  Don’t you realize that those who do wrong will not inherit the Kingdom of God? Don’t fool yourselves. Those who indulge in sexual sin, or who worship idols, or commit adultery, or are male prostitutes, or practice homosexuality, 10  or are thieves, or greedy people, or drunkards, or are abusive, or cheat people—none of these will inherit the Kingdom of God.
11  Some of you were once like that. But you were cleansed; you were made holy; you were made right with God (HOW?) by calling on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.

Don’t FOOL YOURSELVES: We may think we’re ‘good enough’ but the Bible, God’s Word, reveals that JUST ONE SIN will keep us out of Heaven.

Like Adam and Eve, who were banished from God’s presence for ONE SIN, so we too will be sadly shocked and embarrassed to discover, we can’t get in.

Thankfully that same passage that tells us not to FOOL OURSELVES, and lists those who can’t get in, it also reveals who can.

It’s those who’ve made Jesus their Good Shepherd.

1 Corinthians 6:11 ” Some of you were once like that. But you were cleansed; you were made holy; you were made right with God (HOW?) by calling on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.”

 

  • When you TURN: In Repentance (Turn away from Sin) Confess your sins to Jesus.
  • When you TRUST: In Christ’s DEATH Upon the Cross, paying the price for your sins. (The Good Shepherd can become your Shepherd today).
  • When you RECEIVE Jesus Christ: By and act of Faith you say “Jesus, I believe you died upon the Cross for my sins, I repent of those sins (Name them, renounce them, and leave my life of sin) I turn to You Lord and I receive You as my LORD, My Shepherd, Come into my Life and be my Lord today. Amen!”

When you Turn, Trust and Receive Jesus Christ: You will be saved, your sins will be washed away, you’ll be made holy by Jesus Christ’s death and precious blood, you’ll be made right with God and you’ll be free to enter into Heaven. When you die you will not FEAR. When you pass through the Dark Shadows of Death, because Jesus become your Good Shepherd, He will be your Shepherd and He will be with you too.

ALL FEAR IS GONE:

When Jesus Christ is YOUR Good Shepherd.

 

JUNE KNEW Psalm 23 by HEART: June KNEW Jesus as her Good Shepherd: The LORD of her life.

You can cry out with confidence as June Bailleau has done countless times in her life, she knew it by heart, just a few days before she died, she mouthed the words;

“Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.”

You’ll have such a confidence that Jesus is your Good Shepherd, that you’ll KNOW you are just going to go through THE DARK SHADOW of DEATH, you won’t be afraid, because Jesus will be with you, and then once you’ve passed through, you’ll be with Him FOREVER.

You will receive the Gift of Eternal Life:

Death has lost it’s sting, when Jesus is your Good Shepherd.

John 3:13-18 (NIV)
13  No-one has ever gone into heaven except the one who came from heaven, the Son of Man.
14  Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the desert, so the Son of Man must be lifted up (Jesus died on the Cross),
15  that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life. (Those who TRUST that His Death was for their sins).
16  “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
17  For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.
18  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.

It’s NOT ENOUGH to KNOW that Jesus died for your sins: We can all believe that easily enough, but we must TRUST IN Jesus Christ. i.e. Trust that He will forgive you, cleanse you and give you new life, by an act of faith.

It’s like a man called Charles Blondin: A World Famous Tight Rope Walker.

He would walk across the Niagara Falls with a wheelbarrow. Back and forth (17 Times: Even Blindfolded). Then He asked the Crowd, “Do you believe that I could push a person in a wheelbarrow across the falls?” The Crowd responded “Yes”.

Charles Blondin asked, “Who’s going to get into the wheelbarrow?”

The Crowd was silent… He famously pushed his own mother across the falls in that wheelbarrow. She trusted in her own Son, enough to get into that wheelbarrow.

My friends, we’ve got to GET Jesus into Us if we are going to be SAVED: Will you TRUST the Son of God? Will you Receive Jesus Christ as your LORD today? He’ll take you across the Dark Shadow of Death all the way to Eternity with Him in Heaven Forever.. Trust Him.

Have you made Jesus your Good Shepherd yet?

Believe, Repent, Receive, LIVE….

Turn, Trust, Receive Him Today: And you will have HIM with you through life and through that doorway of death too. Amen!

I hope you all have a fantastic Friday and wonderful weekend.

Looking forward to gathering on Sunday with the Saints in St Luke’s Church,

Don.

 

ASK and You SHALL Receive

Ask, Seek, Find, Knock,

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

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

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

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

All Because:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Have a blessed Saturday.

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

Don.

NOTE: Asking in the Bible:

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

 

Relating to God as Father.

God The Father

Daily Spirit & Word, 491: Relationship Redefined.

Relating to God as Father and Jesus as your Brother.

Good morning my friends, what an awesome weekend, you know that even when things go bad, God is ALWAYS GOOD. He’s not lost control as some imagine, He’s always in control, God’s always got a plan and every event or situation is known to Him even before it happens, nothing can take the LORD by surprise. It’s just one of His Divine attributes, KNOWING EVERYTHING. That revelation gives the follower of Jesus great confidence as you go about your daily routines and even when something unexpected happens in your life. Nothing, absolutely nothing, is beyond God’s sphere of influence or knowledge. Today, we discover something about God Almighty that’s crucial for every true believer in the Lord Jesus to grasp hold of and keep holding onto.

Mary Magdalene Touches The Risen Lord Jesus.

John 20:17-18 Jesus said, “Do not hold on to me, for I have not yet returned to the Father. Go instead to my brothers and tell them, ‘I am returning to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’ ” 18  Mary Magdalene went to the disciples with the news: “I have seen the Lord!” And she told them that he had said these things to her.

 

Mary had obviously grabbed hold of her Lord when she recognised that the person she thought was a gardener was actually Jesus. I can’t really imagine how much she would have been relieved and overjoyed to see Jesus alive again can you? But we can try and put ourselves right there in the garden, by Jesus tomb, with Angels in the background and the risen Lord in front of us. Jesus is Alive after dying in front of her eyes, He’s back, He’s risen from the dead. Oh WOWzer or WOWzers. 🙂 Jumping for JOY. She grabs hold of Jesus and is obviously clinging to Him in such a way that says, “I’m never letting go of you, ever again”… Jesus didn’t rebuke her harshly, as some Bible commentators would have you imagine. He’s gently telling her to let go, because He must ascend into Heaven to be with His Father. So if it’s not a rebuke what is Jesus doing? He’s informing Mary that what He promised before He died is about to happen; those who’ve believed and trusted in Him would now relate with Him in a very different way; not physically as they had done before, but ‘Spiritually’. From now on, as soon as Jesus ascends into Heaven, we’ll be relating to God as our FATHER and Jesus as our Brother. God becomes our Father the moment we trust in Jesus Christ. We cannot hold onto Him in a physical way, no matter how much we’d long to touch Jesus, but the new reality, the new way of Knowing God, even though it’s spiritual, is even more tangible than a mere touch or hold or any other physical sensory experience. For the spiritual experience of knowing God enables us to connect in an even more powerful way that our five senses; sight, touch, taste, smell or sound.

Because we are still physical beings, we long for these senses to be satisfied, but once we’ve been born of God’s Spirit, as was about to happen to Mary Magdalene and all the other followers, we’d know God differently: As our Father and Jesus would then become our Heavenly Brother. Of course Jesus is still our Lord, God, Saviour, Master, Friend, but He’s become our brother too. We’re going to be relating to God on a completely different level than any other human being has ever done before. That’s the message that Jesus gave Mary Magdalene to give to the Disciples. It’s also the message that we’ve been tasked to deliver to every Human Being on earth today; it’s part of the Good News, the Gospel of Jesus Christ, that in Believing His message, that He came into the world to deliver sinners from God’s wrath and anger against their sins, to the glorious freedom of becoming a saint with a promise of everlasting life, we also come into a NEW relationship with God: He becomes our Father when we repent of our sins and trust in Jesus death upon the cross. Oh WOWzer of WOWzers… It’s totally awesome!

Once you KNOW this most awesome truth, you’re going to want to tell others about it. This truth and inner knowing is much, much better than anything else that can ever happen in your life.

Think about it for a moment, we all go through things in life that produce a massive YIPPIEEE inside. Things that flood our hearts with immense joy and gladness: A baby being born, falling in love for the first time, meeting that dream person, winning something we’ve longed for in life, getting promoted to a dream position in work, but THIS: KNOWING GOD AS FATHER far, far exceeds ANYTHING else in life. Even if we were to win the whole world, it’s NOTHING in comparison to a fraction of a second with the GLORY of God. Being in God’s presence for even one second is much better than a MOUNTAIN of Gold, Silver, Diamonds and Rubies. Why? Because they can’t RELATE, they’re incapable of knowing, they’re dead things, but being with Father God, the Ultimate REALITY EXPERIENCE: What a total WOWzer! I can’t really find the words to communicate what it’s like: it’s beyond the human capacity to describe what it’s like knowing God as Father: but JOY beyond our happiest wish for JOY is something like it.

Now, through simply coming in faith and trust to Jesus: God IS your Heavenly Father.

Explaining WOWzer!

What does WOWzer mean? You know that Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other social media sights has a button you can press when you really like something: In Instagram it’s a heart, in Twitter it’s a star and on Facebook it’s the famous LIKE button. Well imagine if they had a way of ranking your likes, hearts and stars? It might go like this;

  • For Facebook: Like, Like a lot, Like a whole lot, really really really like and then comes WOWzer! 🙂
  • For Twitter: one Star, two, three, four, five and then WOWzer!
  • For Instagram: One Heart, two, three, four, five and then WOWzer!

Well that’s what it’s like now knowing God as FATHER… But I would give that experience: WOWzer of WOWzers. You see?

Points to Ponder:

What is your own response to the idea that God is your Father?

When you pray or worship God, how do you see yourself approaching Him? Do you see yourself as an undeserving sinner coming to a reluctant God or, as God see you, as a much loved child, coming to a wonderful Father who loves you very much?

Prayer:

Dear Lord Jesus, I thank you so much for welcoming me into Your Heavenly Family. It’s wonderful that you’ve bridged the chasm that separated me from Father God by giving Your life upon the Cross and dealing with my sin in such a way that’s it’s power has been defeated forever. You’ve brought me freedom and joy and peace because You died in my place. Now I’m in Your family and I know that it’s going to last forever. Because of what You did Lord Jesus, I now Know God as my Father. (John 1:12). I know that I’ve now inherited Heaven with You Lord as my Brother (Romans 8:17). Father Your Word tells me You are perfect (Matthew 5:48). You are therefore, better than my beloved earthly father, You will never disappoint or let me down or let me go. I know and believe your promises that you’ll never leave me alone (Deuteronomy 31:6) You long to lavish Your love upon me as Your beloved child (1 John 3:1). So Father, as Your child I receive Your love afresh today. Thanks You so much for Your faithfulness towards me. Help me Father to be faithful in telling others the Greatest News of the Awesome Joy of Knowing You today and that everyone can come to know you as Father once they’ve trusted in Jesus. Amen!

Have an awesome day with Jesus.

Don.

40 Days With Jesus Home Page:

40 Days with Jesus: Day 6: Relationships Redefined: Knowing God as Father.

Relating To God As Father: Relationships Redefined.

 

 

 

 

There’s More, So Much MORE.

Progressive Revelations

Daily Spirit & Word, 479: There’s MORE, so much MORE.

God’s Progressive Revelations For Followers of Jesus.

Good morning my friends. WOWzer! What an awesome Good Friday! The Walk of Witness was fantastic, we had a good number more than last year and a lovely time of worship, prayer, proclamation and witness, then some fellowship afterwards. God’s truly GOOD and it was a Great Good Friday. Today, we’re looking at how God wants to use us and to give us much more than we can ever imagine.

1 Corinthians 2:1-10
1  When I came to you, brothers, I did not come with eloquence or superior wisdom as I proclaimed to you the testimony about God.
2  For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified.
3  I came to you in weakness and fear, and with much trembling.
4  My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power,
5  so that your faith might not rest on men’s wisdom, but on God’s power.
6 We do, however, speak a message of wisdom among the mature, but not the wisdom of this age or of the rulers of this age, who are coming to nothing.
7  No, we speak of God’s secret wisdom, a wisdom that has been hidden and that God destined for our glory before time began.
8  None of the rulers of this age understood it, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.
9  However, as it is written: “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him”—
10  but God has revealed it to us by his Spirit. The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God.

Romans 8:11 “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.”

This passage speaks to me to loudly of the Holy Trinity: The Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead: Who’s that talking about, but the Father (As you’ll see when you read this verse in context). So the Father, who raised Jesus from the dead by the Spirit, will also give LIFE to your mortal bodies (A mortal body is a dead body), how does He, the Father give us this life? “by or through His Spirit who lives in you”.

Ephesians 3:20 (NIV) “Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us…”

I’ve heard Christians say (foolishly), “Jesus, repentance, faith and worship, I can cope with, but I don’t want the ‘Spirit’ thing, it’s way too spooky”. People are afraid of what the ‘Spirit’ might make them do. They’ve seen the excesses or extremes and they’ve decided in their hearts, “That’s not for me”. They come to that conclusion through fear of what might be, but they’re simply refusing the very things that Father God has provided that are necessary for the NORMAL Spiritual life. For the man or the woman without the Spirit doesn’t belong to God. That’s why I said, “Foolishly”, because they don’t have they Spirit, they are unaware of their folly or foolishness. The things of the Spirit are foolishness to them.

There’s More, so Much MORE that you can ever imagine with God.

So many people, who think they are Christian by what they do, have been won to their supposed faith by mere human wisdom, argument or persuasion, but those who’re born of the Spirit have not come intellectually alone, they’ve perhaps been persuaded by the Gospel, but they’ve not simply rested on intellectual agreement, but have moved from that mental assent to faith: For God’s Spirit who draws us to faith and trust in Christ doesn’t want us to simply agree with the gospel, He also wants us to act upon what we’ve become convinced of; that act leads to conversion, to the filling with God’s Spirit, to new life in the Spirit and a transformational experience takes place. New life is not just an intellectual concept, but something to be lived.

1 Cor 2:9 “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love Him”

My friends, you or I can’t contain God within a box. No matter what revelation you get from God, no matter how ‘Spiritual’ you think you are, there is ALWAYS, ALWAYS more, so much more than we could ever imagine.

That was the experience of the Ancient Saints like; Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses and Joshua: God took them from one point of faith and experience to another, to new levels of revelation and understanding of who God was and what life can be like when we trust Him.

THE STAGES OF REVELATION FOR ABRAHAM.

Just consider the stages of revelation for Abraham for an example;

A) At Haran Abraham had “I WILL SHOW YOU”

He was Taken With The Promise: “I Will Show You”.

He was taken from Haran by God with this promise; Genesis 12:1-3 (NIV) The LORD had said to Abram, “Leave your country, your people and your father’s household and go to the land I will show you. 2  “I will make you into a great nation and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. 3  I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.”

B) In Canaan Abraham had this promise from God: “THIS IS THE LAND”.

Genesis 12:7 “The LORD appeared to Abram and said, “To your offspring I will give this land.” So he built an altar there to the LORD, who had appeared to him.”

C) At Bethel Abraham had; “THE LAND THAT YOU SEE”.

At Bethel Abraham Saw it:

Genesis 13:14-17 (NIV) The LORD said to Abram after Lot had parted from him, “Lift up your eyes from where you are and look north and south, east and west. 15  All the land that you see I will give to you and your offspring for ever. 16  I will make your offspring like the dust of the earth, so that if anyone could count the dust, then your offspring could be counted. 17  Go, walk through the length and breadth of the land, for I am giving it to you.”

Can you see the progressive nature of the revelations of God’s Promises? God’s Provisions? God’s Guidances? God’s Blessings? They’re forever growing, expanding and extending for Abraham. What did Abraham do to earn these promises and rewards? Nothing, but he Believed God and Acted upon what he believed.

  • Abraham wasn’t just intellectually convinced that God could do what He promised.
  • He didn’t just believe it with his mind.
  • He acted upon God’s promises and trusted God, he followed God’s directions.
Progressive Revelations
More, so much more.

It’s FAITH expressed in ACTION. or as some have said, “FAITH & DEEDS” Jesus said, “FAITH is obedience to His commands”.

God said of Abraham in the;

 Old Testament: Genesis 15:6 “Abram believed the LORD, and he credited it to him as righteousness.” Notice also at the end of chapter 15 how the Lord’s promise of the Land had expanded much further than Abraham’s eyes could ever see physidally. His promises and revelations grew even greater than Abraham could ever imagine. Just because he believed the LORD.

 New Testament: Romans 4:3, 22 “Abraham believed God” WOWzer!

Abraham took God at His word and trusted in God’s promises. Abraham had been given the gift of faith that enabled him to trust God and take God at his WORD. Not mere intellectual agreement, but being convinced of it he acted upon what he believed. James 2:22-23 (NIV) “You see that his faith and his actions were working together, and his faith was made complete by what he did. 23  And the scripture was fulfilled that says, “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness,” and he was called God’s friend.

Paul didn’t just go and preach the Gospel, as so many Christian do. No he came and preached it, but he also demonstrated it with power and miracles and wonders. Signs and wonders will accompany your proclamation my friends, but we need to be obedient and do what Paul did, what the Apostles and early Christians did, by being obedient to Jesus Commands to Go; God’s Spirit and blessing, touching, delivering and healing, bringing God’s Kingdom into the lives of others in a demonstration of God’s POWER.

My friends, the LIFE of the Spirit that Jesus has called His followers to is the same. It’s life in the Spirit, believing the promises of God, taking God at His Word and being obedient to His commands. Jesus said, “if you love me you’ll obey my commands.” We know that we love Jesus if we’re living in obedience to His commands. They won’t be too burdensome, they’ll be easy in the Spirit. When we’re weak or failing any of Jesus commands, then we know what to do, for we need more of God’s Spirit to enable us to live. We need to be full of God’s Spirit for every single day. We’ll never get to the point in our Spiritual walk that we don’t need God’s Spirit. We won’t want to live without the Spirit once we’ve begun.

Abraham was promised, those you bless will be blessed. We’ve been given similar promises by Jesus.

Abraham was promised, those who bless you will be blessed by the LORD. When people give you even a cup of water just because you are a follower of Jesus, they’re going to be blessed too.

My friends, life in the Spirit is just like Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, Joshua, Elijah, Peter, James, John, Stephen and Paul, and countless thousands of others, but you’ll also get progressive revelations yourself from God’s Spirit. You’ll experience more than you can ever imagine or conceive.

“No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him”

As soon as you think you’ve arrived, guess what? God’s got far more than you’ll ever imagine.

I’m looking forward to just one more day living in God’s Kingdom Promises for the followers of Jesus Christ. Amen!

Life in the Kingdom: Read again Rosa’s Story from Thursday’s Daily Spirit & Word: The Kingdom of Power (Rosa’s Story).

Ephesians 3:20 (NIV) “Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us…” He’s in you my friends, when you trusted Jesus, He’s going to use you in Kingdom Service today.

Resurrection Sunday is going to be AWESOME tomorrow: Because the SAME Spirit, the Holy Spirit, that raised Jesus from DEATH, is the one who gives us LIFE in our mortal (dead) bodies. Praise the LORD and let us live in the Spirit today.

Don.

There’s More, so Much MORE than you can ever imagine in the Normal Christian Life.