Jesus: He’s Coming Soon.

Every Eye Shall See Him: Jesus

Daily Spirit & Word: 680: Jesus: He’s Coming Soon.

After I came to know the LORD in 1984, there was a little praise song my church sang: “Soon and very soon, we are going to see the LORD”. My understanding of God’s Word was limited back then, so I was half expecting Jesus to come back during the week. It radically changed the way that I was living, because I wanted to be ready for Jesus. As the years have gone on, I look back and wonder, “Should I have been continuing with that same sense of expectation all along?” Of course the answer is “YES” for we don’t know the day or the hour. Then there’s the great question Jesus asks, “Will the Son of Man find faith on earth when He returns?”

Revelation 1:7 (NIV)
7  Look, he is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see him, even those who pierced him; and all the peoples of the earth will mourn because of him. So shall it be! Amen.

Revelation is written to both encourage followers of Jesus and to warn those who’re slipping away from a genuine walk with Him. It’s also written and available to the enemies of Jesus as a stern and stark warning; “He’s Coming BACK AGAIN SOON.”

EVERY EYE SHALL SEE HIM:

This is a wonderful encouragement for the believers in the major towns mentioned in Revelation; the Seven Churches in Asia Minor, but also for you and me today. We’re going to see the LORD! At that time it was dangerous to be a believer in Jesus. John was exiled to Patmos, some of the other believers were being killed and put to death in horrific ways. But John wanted to encourage them in the walk with Christ and their commitment to the end.

Who’s going to see Jesus? “Every eye shall see Him”: Believers and non-believers alike. Even those who pierced Him: The Jews and Romans who put Christ to death will see Him. However it’s also those who are opposed to Christianity in every generation, it’s as if they are the ones who are piercing Him all over again. Remember what Jesus said to Saul (Paul) when He appeared to him on the road to Damascus:

Acts 9:3-5 (NIV)
3  As he neared Damascus on his journey, suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him.
4  He fell to the ground and heard a voice say to him, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?”
5  “Who are you, Lord?” Saul asked. “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting,” he replied.

“Why do you persecute me?” Paul was involved in killing Christians and hunting them down. There have been thousands who’ve been persecuted for their faith in Jesus. This text in Revelation today shows us, that one day they will mourn.

What will they do when they see Jesus returning on the clouds? They’ll “MOURN” All peoples on the Earth who don’t know Jesus Christ as LORD and Saviour or who’ve rejected the Gospel, will be grieving, mourning and wailing.

Do you know that there are TWO references in this one verse to Old Testament Prophesy. In his old age John, the Apostle and dearly loved Disciple of Jesus, was full of the Holy Spirit and steeped in the Old Testament Scriptures. He’d been given insight into a fuller understanding of their meaning, and by the Holy Spirit was able to APPLY those Scriptures to his own “Here and now”…

Two Old Testament References:

(Dan 7:13-14). The Son of Man Coming on Clouds.

Daniel 7:13-14 (NIV)
13  “In my vision at night I looked, and there before me was one like a son of man, coming with the clouds of heaven. He approached the Ancient of Days and was led into his presence.
14  He was given authority, glory and sovereign power; all peoples, nations and men of every language worshipped him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away, and his kingdom is one that will never be destroyed.”

It is from that passage in Daniel there emerges the recurring picture of the Son of Man coming on the clouds (Mark 13:26; Mark 14:62; Matthew 24:30; Matthew 26:64). These are wonderful encouraging messages for every Christian, the unchanging truth that the day will come when Jesus Christ will be Lord of all and every eye shall see Him. It is that kind of hope that can keep you going through the toughest of trials on this earth. Imagine how John’s message would have been received at a time of great persecution of Christians. How much more is it and encouragement for us today as we see our own world rushing headlong into oblivion?

The Second OT reference is: “Mourning for the one they have pierced”

Zechariah 12:10 (NIV) 
“And I will pour out on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of grace and supplication. They will look on me, the one they have pierced, and they will mourn for him as one mourns for an only child, and grieve bitterly for him as one grieves for a firstborn son.”

One Day SOON: We are going to see the LORD! Hallelujah. Praise the Lord!

But on that day, every enemy of Christ; every Atheist, every false religions, every wayward non-religious person and every bitter-back-slider, even the hypocrite; will MOURN: Because they’ll suddenly discover how wrong they’ve been; they’ll mourn as one does the death of an infant as Zachariah tells us, that’s a terrible kind of grieving indeed.

Read this Revelation verse again and praise the Lord, because you know HIM who’s coming back soon.

Revelation 1:7 (NIV)
7  Look, he is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see him, even those who pierced him; and all the peoples of the earth will mourn because of him. So shall it be! Amen.

No matter what your circumstances are today, this is encouragement to LIVE your life every day with the expectant hope He’s coming soon. Life will be much better for you if you do.

Sing; “Soon and very soon, we are going to see the Lord”.

Praying that you’ll have an awesome week, full of exciting adventures in the Holy Spirit with Jesus your Lord. Amen.

Don.

 

 

Healing on The Sabbath

Healing on the Sabbath

Daily Spirit & Word: 666:

Religious People Want To Kill Jesus.

Opposition to Jesus is Growing Today.

Good morning my friends, it’s frightful that there are such striking similarities between attitudes towards Jesus and the Christian faith in His time and our own. We’re back with Mark’s Gospel again today, it’s remarkable how much the opposition to Jesus is growing, and today we’ll discover how the plot thickens to such a boiling point that they want to kill the Lord Jesus: To murder Him.  Also, there are growing hostilities towards Christians and Christianity in the world today.

Mark 3:1-6 (NIV)
1 Another time he went into the synagogue, and a man with a shrivelled hand was there.
2  Some of them were looking for a reason to accuse Jesus, so they watched him closely to see if he would heal him on the Sabbath.
3  Jesus said to the man with the shrivelled hand, “Stand up in front of everyone.”
4  Then Jesus asked them, “Which is lawful on the Sabbath: to do good or to do evil, to save life or to kill?” But they remained silent.
5  He looked round at them in anger and, deeply distressed at their stubborn hearts, said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” He stretched it out, and his hand was completely restored.
6  Then the Pharisees went out and began to plot with the Herodians how they might kill Jesus.

The Place: It’s a synagogue. 

The Temple in Jerusalem was not the only place that Jewish people gathered and worshipped the LORD. Because it was impractical to get to the Temple every week from all over the Land, Synagogues (Places of worship) were established to encourage devotion to God and instruct the Jews in the understanding of the Scriptures.

Note: Mark doesn’t tell us anything about what they did in the Synagogue that day, but by saying Synagogue, we know what they will have been doing; Praying, reading from the Jewish Scriptures, Study and sometimes a Rabbi would do some teaching / instruction. It was considered a Holy Place because of the worship of the LORD. It was also a meeting place for the Jewish Community.

The Man With The Shrivelled Hand.

Mark Immediately brings our attention to the subject: The Man with the Shrivelled hand and the fact that the Pharisees were looking for a reason to accuse Jesus of being a Sabbath Breaker.

Why? Why were they looking to see if Jesus would heal the man on the Sabbath? By now the Pharisees knew that Jesus was a man of great compassion for people. He’d been healing many people of all kinds of diseases. Perhaps they even planted the man in the Congregation that day. (They were looking for a reason to accuse Jesus).

They watched Him closely… This reveals to us their attitude towards Jesus ministry, that they were very intent of finding a reason to get rid of him. However, we need to understand why there was this growing tension.

You’ve probably heard the expression; “Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned”, well, these Jewish religious leaders had also been scorned, they’d been upset by Jesus actions, teaching and public correction.

Some Background: (Shows us WHY they wanted to get rid of Jesus).

  • Remember that Jesus said He had come for “Sinners” not the righteous. Mark 2:17.
  • Remember that Jesus didn’t KEEP their RULES. Mark 2:18, 23.
  • Remember that Jesus had shown them they were wrong; from their own Holy Book: The Scriptures. Their understanding of their own religion was wrong. Mark 2:19-22, 25, 26.
  • Remember that Jesus even dared to say; That HE was LORD of the Sabbath. Mark 2:28.

It’s NO WONDER: It’s not a surprise to us now that they were opposed to Jesus, so the Pharisees began looking for a good reason to ACCUSE Him. A way to bring righteous judgement upon Jesus own head so that they could get rid of this upstart, this troublemaker.

MOST PEOPLE TODAY: The Attitude of People Today.

Most people today don’t hate Jesus nor are they opposed to Him the way that the religious Jews were in this account from Mark. The vast majority who know history and a little bit of the Bible think that Jesus was a very good man, Muslims believe Jesus was a Prophet, but they don’t hate Him. Most people today, know about Jesus teachings, but they just choose not to follow Him or His teachings. It’s as if Jesus is irrelevant to modern day life for most people. However that indifferent attitude changes once people really understand the implications of Jesus teaching and ministry even today.

The truth is: If we really UNDERSTAND Jesus we will either; love Him or hate Him.

  • We will LOVE Him; because He came into this world to be our Saviour: Who saves us as sinners from God’s wrath and judgement and condemnation to Hell.
  • Or we will HATE Him: because He reveals our sinful condition and that we a guilty before God.

RELIGIOUS PEOPLE: The Pharisees of Jesus Time:

We must also remember, it was in a Synagogue: This was a Holy Place, these people were very religious. However, it also shows us (perhaps as a warning today) that it’s possible to be “very religious” and yet be far away from God.

John the Baptist called these Pharisees; Hypocrites (they didn’t live like they should) and “A brood of vipers” (A viper is a poisonous snake) and “Whitewashed tombs, full of dead men’s bones” (Looking pure, clean and good on the outside, but inside they are DEAD). That’s what the Bible reveals about these ‘religious’ Pharisees: But today we’re going to see that they were also Treacherous and Deadly.

HEALING ON THE SABBATH:

They were watching to see if Jesus would HEAL on the SABBATH.

Is it WRONG to heal on the Sabbath day?

According to the Pharisees it was considered WORK.

According to Jesus: It was an opportunity to show COMPASSION. (Verse 4, )

As we discovered last week: it is WRONG to WORK on the Sabbath: However, is doing GOOD deeds for others what God would consider WORK?

Think About It: Exodus 35:2 (NIV) “For six days, work is to be done, but the seventh day shall be your holy day, a Sabbath of rest to the LORD. Whoever does any work on it must be put to death.”

God has said that we can work in our regular employment for SIX DAYS a WEEK: But the seventh day is to be a day of rest from our LABOURS and a Day to Honour Him….i.e. It’s our NORMAL EMPLOYMENT, our work activity that we’re to rest from.

Remember what Jesus said about the Sabbath: “The Sabbath was made for man (for man’s benefit), not man for the Sabbath”.

Then we come to Jesus ‘Healing on the Sabbath’. Get this and you’ll get real REVELATION.

THE MAN WITH THE SHRIVELLED HAND.

Note: In those days, there was no welfare state, no disability allowances. If a man had a shrivelled hand, his employment was limited. You can’t use a powerless, useless hand to do anything. He was crippled. No wonder Jesus had compassion upon him. That’s what God is like my friends, He sees our NEED and longs to do something about it. Either through other people, you and me or through a miracle.

HERODIANS:

These were people who supported King Herod: Herod was a vassal Jesus King, a Supporter of Rome. Normally the Pharisees and Herodians hated each other, but now they were joining together in a plot to kill Jesus.

HARD HEARTED PHARISEES:

This section of the Bible is really SAD: Because it shows that we can be very religious and devoted in our religion, but become so hard-hearted that we begin to loose our compassion for people.

  • Every time we see a person in need; it’s God’s appointment to do something good.
  • Every time we see a person with trouble; God’s bringing them to our attention, to be His hands, His voice, His presence for them.

The Pharisees; they looked at this man with a shrivelled hand, only as an opportunity to do wrong.

The Lord Jesus: viewed the man with the shrivelled hand, only as an opportunity to do something good; to show compassion, care, love, concern, sympathy. He healed him on the Sabbath (God is ALWAYS willing to do us good, every day).

What does Mark 3:1-6 show us today?

  • In Jesus we observe a willingness to care;
  • That God cares, is interested in the minute of our daily lives.
  • That God Heals and does ‘good’ every single day. He doesn’t consider doing ‘good’ for others work, but a Joy and a Delight.
  • It also shows us how much we should be concerned for our fellow-man; to have fellow feelings. To show and demonstrate LOVE by doing good whenever we can, even on the Sabbath or Holy Day.
  • It also reveals that Jesus Christ considers Healing and Doing Good a joy and delight rather than WORK. 
  • Opposition towards Jesus grew the more good that He did; don’t be surprised when you are doing good and the world hates you all the more for it.

Jesus Anger and Distress:

The Verse That Gets Me Today: Jesus feelings revealed:

Mark 3:5  “He looked round at them in anger and, deeply distressed at their stubborn hearts…”

They would not answer Jesus. He asked them a question and they refused to answer.

“Which is lawful to do on the Sabbath day, to do good or evil, to save life or to kill?” It’s OBVIOUS! The Answer was so obvious, but they remained silent.

My friends, that attitude got Jesus Christ very ANGRY indeed.

Not only angry, but deeply distressed at their stubborn hearts.

Now I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to be on the receiving end of Jesus’ anger or wrath or to make Him distressed at my stubborn heart. I want to be able to shout out in response to Jesus question; “Oh LORD Jesus, let me be one of your followers today who’ll answer loudly; “To do good and to save life”…. Amen!

It also shows us that it’s possible to be very religious and remain Hard-Hearted and Stubborn. Religious but closed-off towards God.

They were NOT willing to learn from Jesus Christ; they remained STUBBORN HEARTED. He challenged their positions of power, but He also challenged their attitudes to other people in many different ways; the sinners, the outcasts, the sick, the poor, the lame; Jesus was always willing to; CARE, to TOUCH the Untouchables, to have compassion and to DO GOOD. Are we?

We too, like Jesus may become angry and distressed at the stubborn unbelief of people in the world. Also there is growing opposition and tension between Christians and the world under Satan’s blindness. Christians and Christianity are the least tolerated group of people in the world today. It seems to be OK to blaspheme Jesus on TV, Movies and even mainstream media, but not the faith of Islam, Hinduism etc… Have you ever asked yourself why that is? This attitude of indifference, unbelief and hostility will only get worse as time draws ever closer to the return of Jesus in glory. But don’t stay angry too long, get the big picture, the LORD is in control, He’s coming soon.

So what should our attitude be like?

Philippians 2:5-11 (NIV)
5  Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus:
6  Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, 7  but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. 8  And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death—even death on a cross!
9  Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, 10  that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11  and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Jesus healed on the Sabbath Day, but instead of rejoicing and giving thanks to God for a miracle, the opposition increased. To such a point that they eventually took the life of the most Holy man to walk the Earth; the Lord Jesus Christ was crucified.

When you focus upon the Son of God, and determine in your heart to live His way, then He seems to have a way of drying your tears and easing your fears. He makes your burdens lighter and your pathway brighter. When you decide to honour the King of Kings, He will supply all your needs. When you love Jesus, then your fear melts away as fast as the snow did in London yesterday. Amen.

Finally: One Day EVERYBODY will have to face this Jesus Christ.

Revelation 1:7-8 (NIV  “Look, he is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see him, even those who pierced him; and all the peoples of the earth will mourn because of him. So shall it be! Amen
8  “I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty.”

These Pharisees and the Herodians with the Romans and Jews eventually succeeded in their plotting and managed to KILL Jesus Christ on the Cross. However; Praise the LORD: He is ALIVE today, because the grave couldn’t keep Him.

Every EYE: will see Him. Those who pierced Him: The Pharisees, The Herodians, The Romans, The Jews, You and Me: We’ll all see Jesus one day. On that day; we’ll either be rejoicing because we’ve turned in repentance and faith or we’ll “mourn because of Him”… But on that Day: Every knee will bow before Him.

Let’s make certain we’re in that number who’ll be rejoicing and not mourning on the Day that Jesus comes. Amen!

  • Have Compassion of Jesus every day.
  • Remember He still cares for you.
  • Respond to Jesus teaching.
  • Repent from your sins and hardness of heart today.
  • Receive Him as your LORD.

Let us pray:

Hope you all have a wonderful week full of the JOY of the LORD Jesus Christ.

Don’t get too perplexed at the opposition towards Christianity, it’s pre-ordained and will grow as the time draws for Jesus return in glory. Remain steadfast and fix your eyes on Jesus. Live joyfully in His abundant life and look forward to being with Him forever. Amen.

 

The Importance of Persevering.

Sharing the Good News with people on the streets of London

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

When Witnessing To Professing Believers In Jesus.

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

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

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

Because we won battle after battle last night.

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

Out Of The Darkness: Into The Light:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Helping People SEE their NEED for Jesus:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Good News:

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

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

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

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

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

HOW DOES JESUS SAVE SINNERS?

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

Romans 5:8-9 (Two of my favourite verses in the Bible).
8  But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
9  Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him!

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

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

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

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

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

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

A Christian is SET FREE from Sin:

Romans 6:22 “But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves to God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life.”

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

A Christian is DEAD to SIN:

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

Conclusion:

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

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

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

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

Don.

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

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

 

 

He gives me ‘LIVING WATER’ and I thirst no more.

Living Water, Soul Satisfaction, Jesus

Daily Spirit & Word: 605:

He gives me living water and I thirst no more.

John 4:14 (KJV) “But whosoever drinks of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.”
Good morning my friends, do you know there have been so many wonderful praise and worship songs about how the Lord satisfies the needs of the follower of Jesus Christ? I’ve found myself moved so many times, in tears I’ve praised the LORD and He’s come to meet my needs.
  • He gives me living water and I thirst no more…the joy of the Lord is my strength.
  • There’s a fountain flowing deep and wide.
  • Deep and wide, deep and wide, there’s a fountain flowing deep and wide.
  • Take us to the river, take us there in unity to sing, a song of Your Salvation…
  • Here’s my cup Lord, fill it up Lord, come and quench this thirsting of my soul.
  • I heard the voice of Jesus say, “Come unto me and rest, lay down my weary one”…
  • All the way my Saviour leads me …
It’s amazing the way that the Lord does take away all the cravings for the things of this world. The follower of Jesus has enough in His Lord to satisfy every soul longing in life. All these praise and worship songs have been written because the Lord has shown Himself to be faithful to those who wrote them.

Hymn Story: “Here’s My Cup Lord”

For instance, I read somewhere about the little song “Here’s my cup Lord, fill it up Lord” that the Pastor, Richard Blanchard was waiting for a couple that he was preparing for marriage and they were late. He was sitting at the piano, impatient and his heart was getting angry that they were late. So he began to tinkle the ivories and this song came to Him:
Life was never to be a bed of roses for Richard Blanchard.
       A severe lung problem developed, and Blanchard was left with one-third of his lung capacity. But a diminished physical well-being did not stop young Blanchard.
       In 1953, he became the pastor of a church in Coral Gables, Florida, and one day, was asked by a young couple to perform their marriage ceremony. However, the couple was quite late for their counseling appointment.
       Blanchard told his secretary, “I will wait for thirty minutes and I’m leaving.” He then went to a nearby Sunday school room and sat down to play the piano for a while.
       He later said, “When I was not in the mood to be used of God, God was in a mood to use me.” In less than thirty-minutes, as he waited for the young couple, God gave him the inspiring song “Fill My Cup, Lord”
“When I was not in the mood to be used of God, God was in a mood to use me.”
(1) Like the woman at the well I was seeking
For things that could not satisfy;
And then I heard my Savior speaking:
“Draw from My well that never shall run dry.”

CHORUS: Fill my cup, Lord, I lift it up, Lord!
Come and quench this thirsting of my soul;
Bread of heaven, feed me ’til I want no more-
Fill my cup, fill it up and make me whole!

(2) There are millions in this world who are craving
The pleasure earthly things afford;
But none can match the wondrous treasure
That I find in Jesus Christ my Lord.

(3) So, my brother, if the things this world gave you
Leave hungers that won’t pass away,
My blessed Lord will come and save you,

If you kneel to Him and humbly pray:
Even when you are feeling your worst and most un-usable by the Lord, then the Lord Jesus can and will use us for His glory. Think about Jonah, Moses, Gideon and Solomon: reluctant to take the call and the role the Lord had allotted them, they were all used in such mighty ways by Him who changes situations, people and even desires.
Jesus really is the true SOURCE of our HAPPINESS, JOY, PEACE and PROVISION in life.
It’s truly awesome the way that He comes;
When you are feeling weak, He gives you strength.
When you are lonely He there in a moment of praise.
When you are broke, He sends the ravens to feed you.
When you are thirsty, He sends the rain to give you to drink.
When you are hurting, His stripes are for your healing.
When the storms in life come, He invites you to walk on water.
When you are hungry, He can turn stones into bread or send mana from Heaven.
When you are rejected, abused, neglected, you’ll find Jesus is the one who sticks closer than a brother.
John 4:14 (KJV) “But whosoever drinks of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.”
Jesus really does give us living water so that we will thirst, hunger and want; no more. He’s enough, He’s enough to SATISFY all our longings in life. His WELL will NEVER run dry.
Oh how I love Jesus,
Oh how I love Jesus,
Oh how I love Jesus,
because He first loved me.
Have an awesome day with your Lord and Saviour.
Don.

Like the first gleam of dawn

Let your light so shine

Daily Spirit & Word 563: Shine Bright Like the First Gleam of Dawn.

Proverbs 4:18  “The path of the righteous is like the first gleam of dawn, shining ever brighter till the full light of day.”  

My grandchildren love the song ‘Let it go’ from the movie ‘Frozen’, even Karamoko, who’s only one, sings along and shouts louder with the line “Let It Go”. Now when the kids argue or fight, as all little kids under five seem to do, you’ll hear me singing to them, “Let It Go, Let It Go” with a big smile it sometimes works to diffuse the situation.

We had a wonderful Discipleship Meeting last night, with a few more people; God is growing our group! Praise the Lord! We got talking about what it means to be a Follower of Jesus; “Follow me and I will make you fishers of men”… Taking that seriously, with a definite decision to be Christ’s Disciples.

We got onto the subject of “Letting your light shine”.

But my Grandchildren also love Rihannah’s song, “Shine Bright Like A Diamond” with their hands extended into the air they sing, “Shining bright like a diamond”….

Now my friends, Jesus wants you to “Let your light so shine before men”…

BUT: What did Jesus mean?

  • Was it; “Show off and let everybody see how good you are?” NO!
  • Was it; “Shine for all the world to see that you are great?” NO!
  • Was it; “Shine and let them see you are awesome and powerful and ‘spiritual’?” NO!

What was it then?

Matthew 5:16 “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.”

It’s so that your Heavenly Father is glorified. However, it is by your ‘good works’, i.e. the good things that you do.

This is a concept that’s in many other places in God’s Word.

SHINE YOUR LIGHT.

Psalm 112:4 4  “Unto the upright there ariseth light in the darkness: he is gracious, and full of compassion, and righteous.”

When we are upright, gracious and full of compassion and righteous, then even when it gets dark in our lives, there is going to be a light that ariseth (A new day dawning, A Sunrise)… I don’t know about you, but I just love getting up before sunrise, just to watch the sun getting out of bed 🙂 It’s glorious.

My friends, when you do good things, show compassion, are gracious towards others and righteous in the ways that you live your life, people are going to see those good things, they’ll recognise “There’s something different about her / him” Your light is going to shine as bright as the sunshine, you are going to be like a ‘Diamond in the Sky’, because Jesus said it would “You ARE the light of the world” and when your light shines, because of your goodness, your good deeds, then people are going to GLORIFY God.

We want everybody to know that God is real, that being a Christian makes a difference in our lives and the lives of those around about us, don’t we? Let’s let our light shine today. Amen! When we do, then we’re going to be the ‘Fishermen’ that Jesus called us to be when we began following Him, we’re going to catch ‘fish’ when we get closer to Jesus.

Oh, and let’s “Let it go” too 🙂 Let’s not hang onto hurts and the way people have offended us, forgive people quickly, get over it and you’ll see that this too will be like shining your light in the world.

NOW: Christians can sing with new words;

“Let it GLOW, Let it GLOW”  😎  😎  😎  😎 

Proverbs 4:18  “The path of the righteous is like the first gleam of dawn, shining ever brighter till the full light of day.”

I’m looking forward to seeing all my Christians friends shining like the first gleam of dawn today.

Even in the coldest places and the darkest nights of your life, your LIGHT is going to shine.

Don.

 

When God Shows Up

Daily Spirit & Word, 526: When God Shows Up:

Manifestation of The Almighty.

1 Corinthians 12:7 (NIV) “Now to each one the manifetation of the Spirit is given for the common good.”

Good morning my friends, I’m sorry I missed yesterday, too much going on to write I’m afraid. But today, I’ve had a word from the Lord Jesus through the Holy Spirit. He spoke to me, “My Word is all about ‘Righteousness’ NOT ‘Religion’.” As I heard the voice of the Lord in my head, I thought, “Can this really be the Lord saying this?” So I prayed to the Lord, “If this is true Lord, then you are going to have to show me clearly; not just from your Word but from experience as well.”

Over the next few days, I believe the Lord wants me to share about: Righteousness (Obedience) rather than Religiousness. About how He Manifests His Presence in our lives, not because of what we do, but because of His sovereign choice, He gives and we receive.

As I was praying about this, the Lord took me back on a journey of my faith, from the time I trusted Jesus as my Lord and my Saviour to today. He said to me, “Look at your Spiritual walk Donald” I did so. He said, “Look and see and tell Me when you were most powerful and effective as a follower of Jesus Christ?” When I reflected upon my faith walk, I saw that the times when I was at my weakest, feeling like I could do nothing, that God’s power was manifested. It was always manifested for ministry towards others, not for myself, but after each manifestation of the power and presence of God’s Holy Spirit, I felt electrified and so alive. It has happened at home, at work, in church, on the streets, by a wall, on many walks, in Bible studies, whilst out sharing the Gospel, whilst out prayer walking, doing the dishes, visiting a sick man in hospital who was not a Christian, but the Lord healed him completely, singing praise songs and when praising the Lord. It’s so awesome when the Manifestation of the Holy Spirit becomes evident in my life.

Each time the ‘Manifestation’ of the Lord, the will of the Lord, the impulse of the Lord, was made known to me in my inner being. That’s my experience: But it’s also God’s promise in His Word, not just for me, but for ALL people.

The Manifestation of the LORD: Is for the Common Good.

When we look at the ways that the LORD has manifested His presence in the Bible: A pillar of fire and smoke, a burning bush, a donkey, an angel of the presence of the Lord, and ultimately the Lord Jesus Christ, the embodiment of God. We’ll see the things that accompany His Manifestation: It’s always for the common good. With Moses it was for the good of the whole Nation that God Manifested Himself to him. With King David, it was for the good of the Nation. With Jesus it was for the benefit of everyone who could see and touch Him, with the Holy Spirit: it’s for all who’ve come to Jesus so the whole world can benefit from His Manifestation.

I did a Bible Study on the Words: Manifest: Manifests, Manifested and Manifestation. It’s amazing the revelations you’ll get, but for me it’s shown me afresh today, that the LORD chooses to Manifest (Make Himself Known, to Reveal Himself, to let us glimpse His glory) not because of what we do, but because of our attitude towards Him. If we’re OPEN to the Lord, humble and we’re recognising our own weaknesses, desiring to truly forsake sin in our life, then God’s POWER is made PERFECT in our WEAKNESS. He’ll reveal Himself to you too my friends.

King David, wasn’t perfect, but the Bible tells us about him; “He was a man after God’s own heart”. His deepest desire was to serve and be with and enjoy the presence and power of the Lord.

 

The Manifestation Comes: It’s when I’ve been feeling that the Lord is calling me to do something, and I don’t feel up to it. When I admit to the Lord my fears, my deepest desire is to run-away, like Jonah. But the Lord moves by His Spirit and somehow gets me to act and WOWzer, the POWER of the Lord comes.

The Manifestation of the Holy Spirit comes when I’ve been obedient, yet not feeling worthy. For example; I realised one day that I’d been thinking sinful thoughts, then I repented and prayed to the Lord for His forgiveness and asked Him to fill me afresh with the Holy Spirit. Even after praying I still felt a bit guilty about it, but the LORD chose that day, to show me that His power and presence are NOT dependent upon me. As I walked to church I met a lady who was going through a terrible time in her life, I asked her if she’d like me to pray. She said, “OK”. I began to pray right there in the street for her, she protested a little, saying “I thought you meant you were going to pray for me in church?” I said, “There’s no time like, right now”. She bowed her head and we prayed and the Lord answered that prayer immediately. She looked up after praying for only a few moments and said, “I know that God has heard and answered that prayer”. My friends, He did. He moves when we least expect him to and His power is made perfect in all our weaknesses.

1 Corinthians 12:7 (NIV) “Now to each one the manifetation of the Spirit is given for the common good.”

Can you see it my friends? The POWER, the PRESENCE, the GIFTING of the Holy Spirit is given to each and every follower of the Lord Jesus Christ, not to make us feel good ourselves (though of course when we experience Him it’s totally awesome) or to bless our own socks off, but to build others up, to heal, to deliver God’s messages, to teach, to encourage, to deliver from darkness, to counsel, to guide, to save others and to show people the way of life. etc etc… “FOR THE COMMON GOOD”.

We see it clearly portrayed in the Life of Jesus and the Apostles: The people were built-up, encouraged, taught, healed and changed by the Lord. It was for the Common Good. In the Apostles and early Christians the power or manifestation of the Lord came, so that others could know and experience God too.

I’m going to be digging deeper into the ‘Shekinah’ Glory and Manifestation of the Lord: Hopefully it will be for the Common Good.

Tomorrow, I’ll be sharing about how the Lord hates ‘religion’. It’s amazing when people tell us, often quite proudly, “Oh no, I’m not religious”. I always say, “Praise the Lord, this is a message for you then”. Sometimes they’ll say, “What?” Then I’ll tell them plainly, “God hates religion with a passion.”

The Lord does want to MANIFEST Himself in your life today, not because of what you do, but to empower you to do, to be and to shine His Glory in the world, for the Common Good.

Have an awesome day with Jesus: But don’t be ‘religious’, instead worship the Lord in Spirit and Truth: An He’s sure to Manifest Himself in your life today.

Don.

 

The Three Crowns

Daily Spirit & Word, 466: The Three Crowns.

No it’s not the pub 🙂

Nor the united Kingdoms of England, Scotland and Wales.

But the Three Crowns of Glory for the Saints in Heaven: The Believers in the Lord Jesus Christ are going to be REWARDED.

Good morning my friends, it’s such a wonderful peaceful morning with fantastic colours in the sunrise. Peaceful, apart from a poorly grandchild crying in the background, but she’s being comforted by her mummy. It’s strange how we can have pain and beauty at the same time. Today I wanted to focus upon what we’ll be wearing in Heaven. Did you know that you are destined to be wearing a crown?

Our Youth Meeting last night was brilliant, we discussed thier values and priorities in life. After a few expected funny answers about what’s important, they eventually arrived at family, but didn’t quite see that God should be their first priority in life. Afterwards they began asking the youth leaders about what they did, if they were happy in their work and how much they earned. I tried to get across that we are all Princes and no matter how much we earn in life or what we do, as believers in Jesus we’re part of God’s ROYAL family. How do I know this? The Bible explains it in many different ways; we become heirs of the Kingdom, but there’s a beautiful description of our royal attire in the Bible that I’m sure your going to love today. Once you trust in Jesus you become Heavenly Royalty.

Believers in the Lord Jesus Christ will receive; Three Different Crowns:

A CROWN OF LIFE:

Revelation 2:10 (ANIV) “Do not be afraid of what you are about to suffer. I tell you, the devil will put some of you in prison to test you, and you will suffer persecution for ten days. Be faithful, even to the point of death, and I will give you the crown of life.”

We can definitely see an increase in EVIL on the earth today; with people being murdered on a massive scale at the hands of people who think they are serving a god. This is nothing new, but was predicted thousands of years ago, but it is also a sign that the Lord is coming soon, because mankind will become even more lawless just before the LORD returns.

The LORD is promising through the book of Revelation, that when we faithfully endure hardship, even to the point of death, we’re going to be receiving an awesome CROWN, the CROWN OF LIFE. Nothing can take your joyful hope away from you, no matter what they do to you, your CROWN is waiting for you in Heaven. Be at PEACE no matter what.

A CROWN OF REJOICING:

1 Thessalonians 2:19 (ANIV) “For what is our hope, our joy, or the crown in which we will glory in the presence of our Lord Jesus when he comes? Is it not you?”

What an amazing statement, the thing that’s going to bring us honour in heaven, one that will make us rejoice for all eternity, is the souls that get saved from God’s wrath and hell, the ones that we’ve managed to bring into a relationship with the King, those we’ve introduced to Jesus Christ who get saved. WOWzer! Remember how the angels rejoice over just one sinner who repents? Well we too are going to be experiencing that same hope, joy and crown; from the people who’ve been saved because of our faithful; witness, testimony, live and love for the Lord and the saints.

A CROWN OF GLORY:

1 Peter 5:4 (ANIV) “And when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that will never fade away.”

That reminds me of Moses, when he was with the Lord on the Holy Mountain, he shone with the glory of the Lord, but it faded away after a time. The glory we’ll get will never fade away. We’ll be shining with the LORD’S Glory of all eternity. 

The LORD’S Crown Jewels:

As a boy I visited Edinburgh Castle and was privileged to see the Crown Jewels of Scotland, I’ll never forget how awesome and so impressive they were. Royalty in the UK is something we take for granted, but people today have lost a sense of how special royalty really is. Years ago you could loose your life if you even looked upon a royal in the wrong way. In the presence of royalty, there was a sense of; power, fear, rule and sometimes benevolent justice. Can you imagine what it’s going to be like to see the King of Kings Royalty? His Crown is a crown of pain and beauty: Thorns that once pierced his head are now His glory for all the souls that have been saved by His precious blood. We may save a few people from Hell and receive some glory and a crown that will never fade away, but Imagine how glorious His CROWN will be.

It’s amazing to think how much the Lord wants us to be in His glory, how close He wants believers to be to Him, even to sit upon His throne with Him and share His glory. This GLORY and the Three Crowns: Crown of Life, Crown of Rejoicing, Crown of Glory give us the incentive we need when things get really tough down here on earth.

Just as a Crown denotes authority and royalty: Jesus Christ wore a crown of thorns, so that we might wear these Three Heavenly Crowns. If you’ve trusted in Jesus then you are a Prince or a Princess of the Heavenly Kingdom. Walk with your head up today 🙂

Have an awesome Saturday and look forward to the GLORY.

Don.

 

434 When you did it for the least of these.

434 Knowing Jesus Least of These
When you did it for the least of these, you did it for me

Daily Spirit & Word, 434: “What you did for the least, You did it for me” said Jesus.

 Good morning my friends, one of the things that keeps Christians close to the Lord Jesus is the fact that He’s revealed to us one day He’s going to come back to the Earth in glory to Judge everybody. We know that those who’ve truly trusted in Him will receive a different kind of judgement from those who don’t yet serve Him as Lord and Saviour, but non-the-less we’ll also be judged by the Lord for our rewards or loss in the Kingdom for eternity. Today, our focus is upon the basis of Jesus Judgement.
Matthew 25:31-46 31 “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his throne in heavenly glory.
32  All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats.
33  He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.
34  “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world.
35  For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in,
36  I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’
37  “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink?
38  When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you?
39  When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’
40  “The King will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.’
41  “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.
42  For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink,
43  I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’
44  “They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’
45  “He will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’
46  “Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.”
When we help others, who are we serving? 
It’s an important question, for our answer will determine the value of how we’re serving.
  • There are times when we’re helping others for our own prestige or to feel good about ourselves.
  • Times when people serve the poor to look good in the eyes of others and
  • Times when we’ll do it to win friends and influence people.
But even amongst non-believers there’s a different attitude; a way of serving and helping others that’s just totally selfless. They couldn’t care less what others think of them, they know there’s a need and that need must be met, so without even thinking of their own needs, they go out of their way to make certain that those critical needs are met. There seems to be a deep burden upon their hearts; “I must help”. They know that others should be feeling it too, but they’ll not let the lack of involvement or support from others stop them. They’ve got a task to do and nothing on earth will stop them fulfilling their mandate, their heart-felt-need to HELP those who can’t help themselves.
Which Type of Service Do You Perform?
Who are you serving?
And How Are You Serving?
The important thing about this passage of Scripture: When we do or don’t we’re revealing whether or not God’s LOVE is in our heart. (Most of the time this is Sub-Conscious: i.e. we don’t need to think about it, we’ll just do it, motivated with God’s love)
If God’s LOVE is in our Heart: Then we’ll be motivated, moved, prompted and propelled to serve and help and do for others.
If God’s LOVE is NOT in our Heart: Then what we don’t do, how we don’t respond, how we don’t even care, shows our void, emptiness, of God’s LOVE.
Loving others reveals that we know Jesus:
God has said through John: 1 John 2:3-11 (Turn to it now in your own Bible and mark it with a highlighter pen)
We know that we have come to know him if we obey his commands.

4  The man who says, “I know him,” but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in him.
5  But if anyone obeys his word, God’s love is truly made complete in him. This is how we know we are in him:
6  Whoever claims to live in him must walk as Jesus did.
7  Dear friends, I am not writing you a new command but an old one, which you have had since the beginning. This old command is the message you have heard.
8  Yet I am writing you a new command; its truth is seen in him and you, because the darkness is passing and the true light is already shining.
9  Anyone who claims to be in the light but hates his brother is still in the darkness.
10  Whoever loves his brother lives in the light, and there is nothing in him to make him stumble.
11  But whoever hates his brother is in the darkness and walks around in the darkness; he does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded him.

Can you see it my friends? If we’re NOT showing that Jesus LOVE is in our hearts by our actions towards others, then we DO NOT KNOW HIM. We are still in the Darkness, We are walking and living in the Darkness, We don’t have the Light of Life within us. WE ARE NOT SAVED. Therefore, when Jesus comes He’ll immediately know who His sheep are and who are the goats.

Key: Jesus is telling us: (Donald’s Paraphrase) “I’m coming in my glory, when I come the angels of Heaven will be with me, I’ll be sitting on my throne in my Glory and you’ll all be gathered before me for judgement. There will be a separation; Those who are coming with me into Heaven and those destined for eternal punishment. How I make that decision will be based upon how you’ve responded to me. If you know me and I know you, then you’ll have LOVED and WALKED as I did”
We Can KNOW Today: If we’re going to HEAVEN or Eternal Punishment.
If we’ve got Jesus in our Heart: Jesus LOVE, Jesus SPIRIT, Jesus BURDEN to HELP OTHERS, then we’ll know we belong to HIM.
If we’ve NOT got Jesus in our heart: We’ll not LOVE like Jesus loves, we’ll be EMPTY of the Holy Spirit so we’ll not feel like Jesus feels about others and we’ll not be motivated to serve others, we’ll be living life on earth purely for ourselves.
Jesus Said: Matthew 25:40 (Of our Reading today) “The King will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.'”

WHY DON’T WE ACT IN LOVING RESPONSE? 

BOMBARDMENT LEADS TO DESENSITISATION

During the Bombardment of War Soldiers, when they are first on the battlefield, duck when a bomb explodes, hide when the bullets are fired and shake with fear when they are called to go over the top of the trench and run towards the enemy.
However, after many days of Bombardment, being subjected to constant fire from the enemy, the Soldiers get used to it. Sometimes they’ll get to a state of NOT BOTHERING to duck or hide and there’s no visible signs of fear. They are what has been termed “BATTLE HARDENED”.
I feel for Christians today, because many of you have become battle hardened because of the constant bombardment of the enemy. We’ll be bombarded with missiles of DESPAIR, HOPELESSNESS. We see adverts tugging on our heart-strings and time afeter time we’re so overwhelmed we don’t do anything. We know we’re BATTLE HARDENED when we see someone face-to-face and don’t do anything to help them. We’re so HARDENED that we’ll NOT be Motivated by God’s LOVE.
Your Enemy, Satan, doesn’t want you to walk like Jesus or live like Jesus or be motivated by His LOVE.

HOW CAN WE GET BACK OUR SENSITIVITY. (After the Bombardment).

How can we feel like Jesus again and get his LOVE for others flowing through our soul.
How can we WALK like Jesus walked; responding to requests for help, healing, love and assistance.
We need to get FULL of Jesus again. (Holy Spirit).
Soldiers were given some LEAVE to BE REFRESHEDHome Time: To reignite their love for life and others.
We must soak in His TRUTH. Be Refreshed by His Spirit and Re-Filled with His LOVE.
Here’s an important point. Christians don’t respond because helping others takes precious; TIME, EFFORT, MONEY and CAN BE EMOTIONALLY DRAINING.
We too NEED HOME-TIME, TO BE REFRESHED: REST FOR THE BATTLE WEARY.
Jesus said, “Come Unto Me”
Matthew 11:25-30
25 At that time Jesus said, “I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children. (Come as little children again to Jesus).
26  Yes, Father, for this was your good pleasure.
27  “All things have been committed to me by my Father. No-one knows the Son except the Father, and no-one knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him. (Jesus shows and reveals to us the Father’s LOVE).
28  “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. (What will Jesus give us? REST).
29  Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. (What will we FIND when we come to Jesus: REST for our souls).
30  For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
When we come to Jesus, we’ll get;
1) REVELATION:
2) WHEN WE’RE WEARY: REST
3) LEARNING FROM HIM; He’s gentle and humble in heart.
4) REST for our Souls.
5) Yoke and Burden: It’s easy and it’s light.
When your soul has been REFRESHED by Jesus, you’ll also receive His teaching, to know how to live, how to serve and when you serve Him it won’t be TOO tiring, too difficult, too burdensome. Why? Because His Yoke is Easy and His Burdens are Light.
WOWzer!

Conclusion: 

So my friends, we’ve discovered today: How to Know if we Know Jesus.
When Jesus comes in all his glory, with his angles and upon His throne to judge, are we going to be His Sheep destined for Eternal Life or Goats destined for eternal punishment?
We can know today, if we LOVE others and walk as Jesus walked, we know that God’s LOVE is in our hearts and Jesus is in our Heart. We have fellowship with one another and walk in the Light as He is in the Light.
We are HIS Sheep and He is our Shepherd. We know that we know Jesus is we LOVE and WALK as He did.
If we’ve been a bit battle-hardened as Christians, when we’ve been BOMBARDED, then we can come back to Jesus to be refreshed and renewed and ready to serve Him once again.
The important thing to remember is:  “The King will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.'” When we serve others, we’re serving Jesus.
How’s your want to? Do you want to help others? Do you LOVE others as you love yourself?
If NOT that can mean one of two things, either you’ve not yet come to Jesus for Salvation or you need to come back to Him again.
If you do love others and walk today as Jesus walked; in the power and fullness of the Holy Spirit, then keep going and encourage others to join you on the journey.
Jesus invitation to ALL of us today is this; “Come to Me and you will find rest for your soul”…
Have and awesome Sunday, full of praise and worship of the LORD Jesus Christ.
Don.
P.S. Can also be read on St Luke’s Church Facebook Page.