A Day’s Rest From Labour

Matthew 10:16 cunning as snakes and innocent as doves

Daily Spirit & Word: 672: A Day’s Rest From Labour.

Matthew 10:16 (NIV) “I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves.”

Luke 10:3 (NIV) “Go! I am sending you out like lambs among wolves.”

Good morning my friends, it’s my day off today, so only a short share ūüôā

We had another brilliant evening of evangelism last night out on the streets of West Norwood. Sharing Jesus with folks is just so exciting and fascinating. Because God brings people to us who really need to know Him. Most people are totally unaware of this need for God. We can testify to the truth in God’s Word that “the god of this age” (Satan) is doing a brilliant job of keeping people blind and completely at ease with the lack of Spiritual life. He doesn’t want them to know or understand the Gospel.

When approaching people with a Gospel Tract: The vast majority will say, “No thank I’m OK”… or “No thanks, I’m not religious”. They believe that their life without God is; normal, OK, cool, good, free, etc… So can you see what a fantastic job Satan has done?

Now when we approach folks we’ve got to be, as Jesus directed, “shrewd as snakes and gentle as doves”… So we engage them in ways that they’ll be familiar with, with things that they are already interested in: Money, Silver, etc… How? We carry notes that look like ¬£1,000,000. That’s right folks One Million Pounds. They are funny, they bring a smile to people’s faces and they open up the way to have a ‘Spiritual’ conversation. So before they know it, we’ve managed to tear down all their defences and barricades against being got at by Jesus.

We also use brilliant, bright, shiny, large silver coins; with the Ten Commandments on one side and the Gospel of Jesus on the other. We say, “Did you get one of these limited edition Commandment Coins”… Because they are still in the natural, human beings are in competition with one another, they love to get one-up on their neighbours, so they’ll want something that nobody else has got. It’s another brilliant way to engage folks with what they’re naturally inclined to want.

Are we tricking people? You’re right, we’re using earthly things for the purpose of getting a springboard into their heads with spiritual things. However, we’re only doing what our Lord Jesus did, because that’s what the LORD did all the time; the Samaritan woman at the well, Jesus used water and her need to drink so she could discover her need for Salvation. John 4. At the Wedding Banquet, Jesus turned water into wine to introduce the abundance of God’s Kingdom. ¬†He used stories / parables to¬†instil¬†intrigue and excite deeper thinking about God’s Kingdom. Jesus use the NATURAL to engage people in Spiritual conversations. He used what people know and are familiar with, to bring them to an awareness of their need for God in their daily lives. He actually commanded His followers to do the same;

Matthew 10:16 (NIV) “I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves.”

Praise the LORD! With the help of the Holy Spirit, we were doing that last night out on the Streets of London.

I said to many people last night; “Did you get your ¬£1,000,000?” As they took the note from my¬†outstretched¬†hand, I asked this question, “If this was a ‘real’ million pounds, what would you do with it?” We were then into conversations about life with loads of money. Most said they’d spend it on the family first. Then I asked, “Would you do¬†anything¬†‘good’ with the money?” They immediately said they would, some said they’d give something to the poor, etc… I then said, “What is ‘good’?” or “Do you think you are a ‘good’ person?” As usual nearly everyone said they are good. We were off into a presentation of the Gospel: to show them their need of a Saviour.

Please Pray:

Keep praying for the people we met and chatted with last night:

We engaged many, but a few stand out in my heart today; A man called Dennis who works seven days a week. A¬†Muslim¬†man from Algeria called Ali, who was open to talking about Jesus. A Russian Jewish man with a big beard, who was also open to the Gospel. A Pentecostal AOG Pastor who was in London for a Conference. A lady with her little girl, about to get into her car, she was really open. A Scottish lady, who was very interested in chatting about Jesus (probably because I’m Scottish too)… Praise the LORD for all the ways He used us last night, making the most of the golden opportunity to spread the Good News of Jesus Christ.

I’m looking forward to a day off with my grandson Karamoko. We’re looking after him because our daughter Stephanie is getting ready to go into labour.

Have another fantastic day with Jesus my friends.

Don.

 

Jesus Is Your Authority For His Mission

Jesus Gives Authoity

Daily Spirit & Word, 514: Jesus Is Your Authority For His Mission.

 40 Days With Jesus: Day 31: Matthew 28:18.

Good morning my friends.¬†Firstly let me thank you all for your prayers. I missed posting yesterday because I was in terrible pain, it didn’t get any better throughout the day. Yes! I’ve been taking my tablets and they eased the pain, but as soon as they were wearing off, the pain returned. I’m still praising the LORD and what’s helped more than tablets is the knowledge, that brothers and sisters are praying for me. That the Lord is faithful and when we turn to Him in praise and thanksgiving He hears us. He’s truly the GREAT SHEPHERD of the sheep and walks through the valley of the shadow of death with us.

Divine Authority To EVANGELISE.

Today, we’re continuing with this week’s focus on the GREAT COMMISSION. How we’re sent out into the world to bring others into God’s Kingdom and how we’re to disciple those who respond to the Gospel. Today, we’re going to discover the ultimate AUTHORITY for our Mission: it’s the LORD Jesus Christ Himself. Knowing this will set us free, because we’ll KNOW we’re not just taking the initiative to go and evangelise others, but we’re just being obedient and we’ve also got Divine authority to share the Gospel with EVERYONE.

Authority: The Bible has so much to tell us about Authority, but let’s just make certain we understand the word and what Jesus meant when He said,

Matthew 28:18 18 ¬†Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.

Authority Means:

  • The power or right to give orders or make decisions.
  • A person or persons who exercise administrative control over others; e.g. the local Government Authority.
  • An expert whose views are taken as definitive.
  • Freedom from doubt; belief in yourself and your abilities.
  • An authoritative written work

So we can see that Jesus has been given Authority: The Power and Right to GIVE ORDERS and to MAKE DECISIONS. He had ADMINISTRATIVE CONTROL He is an EXPERT who’s views are to be taken as DEFINITIVE. There is no DOUBT and every Disciple can have an ASSURED BELIEF in His ABILITIES to perform or do all that He’s promised. He’s also given us His AUTHORITATIVE WRITTEN WORD: The Bible.

Now when we read Jesus words again; “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me” We can see that it’s not a little bit of authority or partial authority, but ALL authority has been given to Jesus Christ. Not just on earth or over our lives but over the whole Universe and the Kingdom of Heaven. Jesus really is the Boss of the Cosmos and the Heavenly places.

What does that mean?

Well when I was in the Royal Navy, I was given authority sometimes to enter certain restricted areas. Even though Military personnel had their Identification Card that enabled them to enter Military Establishments, I had a much higher clearance, I could enter Top Secret areas. How? Because I’d been given a photographic and electronic pass that I wore around my neck. When I placed the pass on a machine, the gates opened and I was allowed to enter. If someone tried to enter who didn’t have one of those passes or even some other way; all Hell would break-out and armed security guards would come running to the scene. The pass was my authority to enter and gain access.

Those who belong to Jesus have been given similar authority to access areas and powers that normal human beings cannot. We are members of an elite group, because we’ve been specially selected by the Lord of Creation and given His permission to go anywhere in the world with the specific mandate of fulfilling His commands.

How can we do this?

Because Jesus is the ONE who has the AUTHORITY to send us. 

Where does Jesus Authority come from? The answer is given to us in the passage we just read above. “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.” Matthew 28:18.

Jesus told us many times throughout His ministry that the Father and the Son are ONE: but the Son willingly and wholeheartedly submits to the Father’s will. Why? Because, unlike sinful human beings, God is LOVE and Jesus knew His Father intimately. He knew that submission is complete FREEDOM. To submit in this way takes total trust. Just as a child trusts his own father, i.e. he’ll launch himself into his father’s arms from a great height. So Jesus fully trusts His Father, even to the point of giving up His own life upon the cross. Even though Jesus submits to the Father’s will, He is non-the-less DIVINE. Many times we’ll read in the Bible of the Jews understanding of this, because time and again they tried to stone Jesus because He claimed to be the Son of God. To them such a statement was blasphemy, because they said, “You are mere man, claim to be equal with God”. He did, because He was. Jesus Christ the Carpenter’s son, was also the Divine Son of God on earth. He has been given ALL authority.

But notice that Jesus didn’t just leave us with the Father and Son relationship. In this passage He also reveals our Mission and Commission is from; The Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit: The Trinity. What a divine MANDATE we have for sharing the Gospel. It’s not our message, but His. It’s not our idea or our own initiative to GO. The Disciples din’t just dream it up my friends, it’s not another good idea, it’s a God idea. It’s His WILL, it’s HIS Mission and He has the Authority to COMMISSION.

Notice also the word COMMISSION: ¬†It should remind you that not only have you got the Authority to go, but it’s a JOINT Mission. We’re simply working in a team: It’s a DIVINE team: We’ve get to accompany Jesus, because He’s with us Always. We also get the Holy Spirit, who’s in us and empowering us for the Mission. We also get the presence of our Heavenly Father, because when we come to Jesus we become ONE with Him too. WOWzer! We’re on a Mission together to go out into the world an reach out to mankind, to seek and to save the lost together.

That tells me this today:

  1. We’ve been sent out to do it: Evangelise.
  2. We’ve got Divine Authority to do it: Evangelise.
  3. We’ve got Divine Company in it: Evangelise.
  4. We’ve got Divine Power to accomplish it: Evangelise.

Now all we’ve got to do is TRUST AND OBEY. We’ve got everything we need to accomplish God’s Mission we’re doing it together, so let’s trust Jesus’ words today and in simple, childlike obedience, do it. As you do it, knowing you’ve been sent and are accompanied by Jesus will give you great confidence. I’m sure those Disciples who doubted when they saw Jesus would have had their doubts displaced either at His words or later when the Holy Spirit filled them, but it would only have been confirmed as they were being obedient. It was, when Peter stood up to address the crowds on the Day of Pentecost: The Divine POWER was made manifest and 3000 people came to Jesus Christ that day. It will happen to you too my friends, but you’ll only see it if you are obedient. You’ll never experience it in any other way: all you’ve got to do is TRUST AND OBEY.¬†

So whenever you don’t feel like going and sharing and spreading the GOOD NEWS, know this and take it to heart: Jesus has given you the authority to proclaim the Gospel to everyone, He’s given you the Power through His Holy Spirit, so that you don’t have to depend upon your own strength, and to top it all off, He’s going to go out with you. Oh WOWzer! Why wouldn’t you go and have a go today? Try it in His strength. Share the Gospel with someone today: YOU’LL BE AMAZED at the results.

Have an awesome day my friends, fulfilling the LORD’S Mission with Him and In Him. Do it today.

Don.

P.S. Just in case you don’t know WHAT the Good News is, that you’ve been Commissioned and Commanded to share;

  1. Everybody on Earth Today: Needs Jesus Christ. Why? Because without Jesus as their Lord and Saviour, they’ll perish in Hell.
  2. Compassion Compels Us: You wouldn’t sit idly by and watch your neighbour’s house burn with them inside it would you? No, of course not. So normal human compassion for others will compel even the most timid Christian to reach out and save those who’re headed for the fires of hell. You’ll overcome your fears of rejection, when you get a decent amount of compassion.
  3. Why are they headed for Hell? Because everyone has SINNED. Every single human being has broken God’s Commandments. It’s the breaking of His commandments that makes us sinners. No sinner can enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Even one lie will make us unfit for Heaven. So we need to be cleansed from all sin. Our sins need to be washed away.
  4. Nobody wants Righteousness: Many people try lots of things like religion or good works to be saved. They don’t naturally want to come to Jesus Christ to be made righteous in God’s sight. They think they can do it themselves. That’s why God has told us He hates ‘religion’. Everyone who’s trusting in their own goodness to get into heaven will be sadly and cruelly dissappointed. Because, nothing good that we do can remove the stain of sin. We need life-blood and death to take away the punishment for sin in our life. Jesus died so that we could be forgiven. The Bible tells us that the “WAGES of SIN is DEATH” and we must know, that unlike some bosses who’ll try and scam their employees, God always pays His wages. You’ll get your wages for sin, death and judgement and Hell, unless you’ve had your sins removed.
  5. What gives people a hunger for righteousness? Faith comes by hearing God’s Word. When you go out in the power of the Holy Spirit, He goes with you. As you share the Gospel of man’s need for righteousness with God, He’ll bring conviction that leads to repentance, which is a Turning away from sin and He’ll also convince people that Jesus Christ is the ONLY WAY of Salvation. Jesus is everyone’s only hope of Heaven.
  6. When folks are sufficiently convicted, then you can share the Good News: There’s a way to avoid Hell. It’s by TRUSTING IN THE LORD JESUS CHRIST. It’s not simply saying, “I believe in Jesus” or “I give my heart to Jesus”, but being convinced that without Him and His sacrifice upon the Cross for your sins, you are headed for Hell. So the only way that you can be saved is by receiving His forgiveness and receiving Him as your Lord. Once a person trusts in Jesus, they will be saved from God’s wrath and anger against sin.
  7. God did it because He loves: For God so loved the world, that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him will not perish (in Hell) but will receive the gift of everlasting life” John 3:16. I repeat, to believe is not simply to say “I believe in Jesus”, the Devil does that and trembles. But to TRUST IN Jesus death.
  8. Ask them when they are going to TRUST in Jesus? We don’t know if this day will be our last day on earth. When we die we’ll either face God’s Judgement and be cast into Hell because we’ve still got sin on us or we’ll be welcomed into Heaven, because we’ve had our sins removed.
  9. Encourage them to TRUST IN JESUS TODAY. Today is the day of salvation.
  10. You’ve been given everything you need and Jesus is with you, the Holy Spirit is your Helper, He’ll empower you. Now: When will you next share the Gospel of Jesus Christ? People NEED Jesus. They don’t need Him to improve their life here on earth, they need Him so that they can enjoy eternity. God loves everyone and doesn’t want anyone to perish in Hell, that’s why He’s commissioned you my dear brothers and sisters in Christ.

40 Days Home Page: 

40 Days With Jesus: Day 31: Divine Authority Comes From Jesus: So Jesus IS Your Authority For His Mission.

 

Go and Share The Good News

Spread the Gospel Supernaturally

Daily Spirit & Word, 498: Go and Share The Good News.

40 Days With Jesus: Day 14. Go and Share The Good News.

Good morning my friends, it’s been a strange start to the week. I’ve been feeling quite tired and in a bit of pain with back ache, however this morning as I was in the garden with the Lord, I believe He wants me to persevere in telling others about Him and about the best news they could ever want to hear. We’ve been following Jesus appearance to the two disciples on the Road to Emmaus over the last week, yesterday we saw how they knew it was Jesus when He broke the bread, today, after that revelation, we see those disciples running to spread the greatest news ever delivered, Jesus is Alive.

Luke 24:30-36 30  When he was at the table with them, he took bread, gave thanks, broke it and began to give it to them.
31  Then their eyes were opened and they recognised him, and he disappeared from their sight.
32 ¬†They asked each other, “Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?”
33  They got up and returned at once to Jerusalem. There they found the Eleven and those with them, assembled together
34 ¬†and saying, “It is true! The Lord has risen and has appeared to Simon.”
35  Then the two told what had happened on the way, and how Jesus was recognised by them when he broke the bread.
36 ¬†While they were still talking about this, Jesus himself stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.”

 

I don’t know when the last time it was that you walked seven miles, but they’d just traveled that distance and as soon as they get their revelation, as soon as their eyes are opened and they recognise Jesus, they’re off, on their way back to Jerusalem again. It’s amazing!

We all know that good news spreads fast. When a baby is born or an engagement or wedding is announced, then the news spreads very fast these days, especially with the advent of social media; Facebook, G+, WhatsApp, etc… I’m constantly amazed what articles or posts that I put up get the most likes. If it’s a picture of my grandchildren, then everybody like it, if it’s a castle I’ve visited, then of Facebook it’ll get a few less likes, but when I spread the GREATEST NEWS that anyone could ever wish to hear, it get only a few likes and spreads very slowly at first. It seems that even devout and devoted Christians are reluctant these days to come out of the closet and let their friends know Just how much they LOVE Jesus. There are of course good reasons for that, but we’ll come onto that later.

However, no such thoughts occupied the minds of those who followed Jesus and their first encounters with the risen Lord. As soon as they got it, they wanted to share it. Like Mary Magdalene who ran to tell the disciples about the empty tomb, then later on about her meeting with the risen Lord. It was natural to want to tell others, those they knew would want to hear this great news, but before they could begin to be obedient to Jesus Great Commandment to Go and tell they whole world, they’d need something besides the resurrection appearances. You see Jesus knew and the disciples eventually knew, they’d need the anointing of the Holy Spirit if they were ever going to sustain their enthusiasm for sharing this Good News, because it’s NOT good news for everyone, but only for those who respond.

The day after I became a Christian, I was sharing this great news with everybody I knew; “I’ve become a Christian” I said with enthusiasm. Some people were happy for me, those that I knew to be Christians were overjoyed, my family and friends were happy for me, but I noted something almost immediately, there was a hint of hatred, a nasty feeling in some of their responses, “Don’t try and convert me though”… One of my best friends, whom I’d known for years, a good old drinking buddy, ridiculed me if front of the whole Submarine Crew. He shouted at the top of his voice as I was walking down the gang-plank towards the Submarine; “Here he comes, the Bible Basher. So you’ve become a Christian Ginge (That’s what they called me in the Navy). I know where you’re going mate and it’s not to Heaven, you’re going to Hell just like the rest of us.” I was totally shocked that my best friend would react in that way, I’d not even told him personally, he must have heard through the grapevine that I’d become a Christian, but here Jack was telling everybody that I’d become a Christian, and already he’d nicknamed me ‘Bible Basher’. I shouted back to Jack, “Yes Jack, I’ve become a Christian, a follower of Jesus Christ, I do believe I’m going to Heaven, but I’m so glad that you believe in Hell, I believe in that too, so your already¬†half-way towards faith and becoming a Christian yourself”… That response got a chuckle and I was immediately thrown into the lions den of personal evangelism.

I’d began to tell everybody about Jesus, at first I was a bit too bombastic, telling everyone indiscriminately, but now the Lord guides me. I get it wrong sometimes and at times there are bad reactions to what I feel is still the best news anybody can ever want to hear, but that’s because most people are still in love with the pleasures of sin and a life of rebellion against the Holy and Righteous Lord, they will not come into the light. The Bible tells us why of course, but at first I couldn’t understand why everyone didn’t rush to trust in Jesus upon hearing the Good News.

It was in 1984 that I became a follower of Jesus, since then my passion for sharing the Good News has not died down. Nothing gives me greater pleasure than to share the Gospel one-to-one with even complete strangers, preaching about Jesus is now second nature to me, I’ve been given an amazing gift from the Lord to be able to talk with almost anyone about Him. I’ve learned ways to make it less offensive, but I’ve not watered down the message, I still proclaim the two alternative destinations; Heaven or Hell. However, I’ve learned the Secrets of the Kingdom of Heaven from Jesus and as I share them with people today, they are not as offended as my first attempts, that’s because I let them preach to themselves, I let their own conscience convict them and the Holy Spirit draw them to faith and trust in Jesus. Oh yes me friends, I go out every day looking and praying for opportunities to go and share the Good News with people. It’s not just the commandment, it’s because I love the Lord and I’m filled with compassion for those who’re headed for Hell.

Luke 24:44-49 44 ¬†He said to them, “This is what I told you while I was still with you: Everything must be fulfilled that is written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms.”
45  Then he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures.
46 ¬†He told them, “This is what is written: The Christ will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day,
47  and repentance and forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.
48  You are witnesses of these things.
49 ¬†I am going to send you what my Father has promised; but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.”

There are many people who’ll say, “I’ve not got the personality for that kind of evangelism”, but did you notice anything in Jesus commandments about personality? Did you see something in Jesus commission that will enable the shy, the awkward, the stumbly-speakers, the nervous and frightened to say to Him, “Lord, send someone else, because You don’t mean me, do You? After all Lord, You know that I’ve not got the personality for that kind of thing.” My friends, once we KNOW Jesus it will not be because He’s commanded us to share, but we’ll automatically do it. We’ll not do it because of our personality though, we’ll do it because we’ve been ‘”clothed with power from on high”. It’s the Supernatural Personality of Jesus that will be in us, the Holy Spirit POWER that will propel and enable us to share. So don’t worry about your shyness, your awkwardness, your lack of knowledge, your lack of ability, because He’s got everything you need and more, just waiting, all you need to do is be filled and empowered and obedient. So many Christians want the experience and fullness of the Spirit, but don’t realise¬†that His fullness is only given for the purposes of building others up in the faith and leading others to faith and trust in Jesus, it’s not just for our own enjoyment of the experience.

Points to Ponder on Day 14 of 40 Days With Jesus.

  • Who in your life need to HEAR about Jesus Great News? Pray consistently for them and ask the Lord to give you opportunities to share with them.
  • Are there events you could bring your friends to in the near future? Ask God to give you boldness and confidence to invite them.
  • One of the best ways to share your faith in Jesus with others is by using a simple picture, such as the bridge illustration. With God on one side and mankind on the other, separated by a great chasm that no one can cross, cause by sin that separates us from God. Then show the Cross of Jesus and how Jesus death upon the cross bridges the gap and makes it possible for people to cross over to God’s side and the gift of eternal life. That bridge illustration has helped me personally lead many people to Jesus.¬†
  • Another is using God’s Commandments, they’re like Ten Great Cannons in our war against the enemy. When we fire them off he goes into hiding and retreats to his bunker. These are powerful¬†weapons¬†my friends, because God’s given everyone a conscience and they know deep down that ‘they’ve sinned against God’s Holiness on purpose. It’s because of our wilful breaking of His commandments that we’ll be judged by God and sent to Hell, not for any other reason. So we all need to be cleansed of sin. Once we use the Commandments the Cross suddenly makes sense to people, the Good News really is Great News today. So go and share the good news, the GREAT NEWS and ask the Lord to fill you with His compassion for those who don’t yet know Him as Lord or Saviour. Amen.

Prayer:

Dear Lord Jesus Christ, thank You so much for the reality and wonder and joy of the greatest news the world can ever want to hear. I know that there are many people who don’t want to hear the good news, because they are in love with being in charge of their own lives, I’m praying today for everyone I know, who doesn’t know You Lord. Help me to bring the great news to them in the power of the Holy Spirit. Please Lord, I’m praying that you’ll open up their hearts and minds and lives to be responsive to the news and set free from Satan’s grip. In Your mighty name I pray Lord Jesus. Amen.

Home Page: 40 Days With Jesus.

Tonight

We’re gathering again in St Luke’s Church to open up Week Three of 40 Days With Jesus. Please pray for our gathering and if there is anyone who’d like to come along, you are always welcome. Jesus wants everyone to meet with Him today. 7.00pm in St Luke’s Church. Study begins at 7.30pm.¬†

40 Days with Jesus: Day 14: Go and Share The Good News.