You Don’t NEED to get permission to share Jesus

Share Jesus freely, tell your bad man or bad woman story, people love gossip

Daily Spirit & Word: 741:

You Don’t Need To Ask For Permission.

Share the Good News Freely.

Pentecost Prayer Week: Day 5.

Good morning my friends, today is FANTASTIC FRIDAY: Ying Kai is coming to vist my home at 1.30pm with some Church Leaders and key members of our Fellowship. And we’ve got a Church Fellowship Curry Night, but first we’re meeting for some powerful prayer at 8.00am. It’s been a busy week, but so full of delights in the LORD.

Though the Pentecost Prayer Week is not quite over, I want to thank our Archbishops for the initiative to call all the Church of England to prayer for the Evangelisation of the Nation. We’ve been busy praying at home, in church, in fellowship groups and in small groups,, we’ve had Alpha on Tuesday: Why and HOW should I share my faith? On Wednesday, we’ve been out sharing the Gospel on the streets. On Tuesday, Emma gave her live to the LORD, on Wednesday she was almost killed by a falling rock, but it fell to the ground just inches from her head. Last night we had an awesome time of simply worship; singing and praising the Lord.

You know something, being a follower of Jesus is exciting, enjoyable, exhausting, but empowering.

When we’re with people, wherever we are, we’ve just taken them to church.

When we’re living with Jesus and His called-out people in this world, then the world has experienced church.

Christianity, following Jesus, is a MOVEMENT, it’s not a condition. We’re moved by Jesus to GO into this world and spread the Gospel, the Good News, but we’re also moved by the HOLY SPIRIT to be church, holy, wherever we are. When people are in your presence they are in church.

I’ve discovered a NEW boldness is available for the saints.

Emma became a Christian on Tuesday and shared her faith with someone the day after, on Wednesday she declared to a stranger, “It’s because I’m now a Christian”… With our heart we believe and are saved, with our mouth we TESTIFY… Romans 10:8-10. We’d normally take people through a TEN WEEK COURSE to get them to that point, but we’ve been discovering that it’s much, much better if someone can share what they do know as quickly as possible. If they’ve repented and trusted in Jesus as Lord, they can share that quickly with others. We’ve been unintentionally holding the church back, because of our TRADITIONS. Instead of following Jesus example and the teaching of the New Testament, we’ve been following man-made traditions. People don’t need lots of head-knowledge to share Jesus, they just need to be willing to be obedient to His Great Commission, to GO and SHARE what they already know in their heart is true: “I was once in darkness, I heard the Good News of Jesus, I repented and trusted in Him, I’m now saved”… When we share how bad we were with people, they love a bad-man story, because people love gossip, they’ll be interested. On the other hand, if we start telling people, “I’ve just been on a 12 Week Course and it’s now time for me to share my faith…” NO! my friends, let’s get a boldness to set the young lambs in the faith free to share Jesus as quickly as they can. Of course they don’t know everything yet, but they don’t need to, they just need to KNOW Jesus. The Holy Spirit will take them where He wants them to be and with encouragement, discipleship training and prayer, they’ll go from strength to strength in obedience to the Lord.

So can you gather that I’m excited and encouraged, it really is a Fantastic Friday and it’s only 5.00am.

Have an awesome Pentecost Weekend: Don’t stop praying though, we’re going to keep praying EVERY DAY for the people the LORD has strategically placed in our lives, those who know that we are Christians who love the LORD, and we’re going to be looking for opportunities to SHARE the Good News with them. They are our OIKOS. (BTW: Josi was out shopping and saw on the supermarket shelf OYKOS yoghurt. She was wondering what OYKOS means?) It’s not quite the same as our OIKOS, by too similar to wonder.

PERMISSION NOT REQUIRED: YOU’VE GOT IT ALREADY.

Oh, BTW, you don’t need to be polite and ask permission to share the Gospel, because Jesus has already given you His permission to share it with EVERYONE.

“All authority in heaven and earth has been given to me….” Matthew 28:18…

If you ask a friend, relative, neighbour or stranger, “Can I share with you something about Jesus”… You already KNOW what their reaction is going to be “I’m not ready to hear this yet” or “I’m not religious” or “I’m not interested in religion”. However, if you take the initiative and just share, “You know, I used to be a very bad person, I once told a lie…. they’ll be hooked”… You’ve got them, just share your bad-man / bad-woman story, how before you met Jesus you were a terrible person. Because people love bad-man / bad-woman stories. Just take a look at all the TV shows about BAD people, the world loves to hear bad people stories. St Paul did that many times in the Bible, what an example. You’re probably not as bad as Paul, he persecuted Christians and even took part in stoning some of them. But you have broken some of God’s Commandments, share how you were once bad and how Jesus delivered you from darkness, then share how anyone can come into the Light of Jesus and be saved. So can you see, you don’t need to be polite any-longer, you don’t need their permission, they’ll give it once you begin telling your bad-man / bad-woman story.

A wonderful book that’s selling by the million is “An Atheist Comes to Faith in Jesus”… A woman who was a Professor is telling the world how she once was an Atheist but now believes… The WORLD loves that bad-woman book.

Have an AWESOME Pentecost Weekend: If you’re free, come along to our Baptism service. It’s in the open air in West Norwood London. Just outside St Luke’s Church. People love to stop and watch what we crazy Christians are doing. What a witness for the Glory of the Lord.

Please don’t stop praying for our Baptism Candidates and for Ying as he comes to share at my home today.

Be blessed and be filled afresh with Holy Spirit to share Jesus with your OIKOS.

Don.

Matthew 28:16-20 (NIV)
16  Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go.
17  When they saw him, they worshipped him; but some doubted.
18  Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.
19  Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,
20  and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

  • Jesus told you to do it, so “GO”
  • Share the Good News of the Gospel Freely.
  • Tell your own bad-man / bad-woman story.
  • Let people HEAR about Jesus offer of NEW LIFE.
  • He’s with you to the very end of the age. 
  • Amen!

BTW: There are a FEW people around the world trying to hack into this web page. Why?

When The Message is Rejected

praying for your OIKOS, don't give up or give in, because God didn't give up on you.

Daily Spirit & Word: 740: When The Message Is Rejected.

Good morning my friends, we’ve been chatting all we about National Evangelisation, taking the Gospel in obedience to Jesus command to “Go”, to all the people in your OIKOS (Remember OIKOS is all the people who know that you are a follower of Jesus Christ, a Disciple). However, what happens or what do we do about the people who reject the Gospel? When we’ve been praying for them and we finally get the courage to share with them, what happens if they say “No” or “I’m just not interested”…

Quick Answer: LOVE them even more.

Long Answer: Don’t Give Up on Them, because God didn’t Give Up on YOU!

First pray for them again. Go back to your Heavenly Father and talk to Him about them.

It’s amazing when you go back and review with the LORD all that you’ve been saying and doing to win your loved ones to Jesus. Why? Because in talking it over sometimes the LORD gives you words of knowledge and insight about; Himself, your approach, about them as people and about yourself as well.

Then go back and check out the Scriptures and ask yourself, “What does the LORD want me to do now?”

Re-read the Great Commissions in Matthew, Mark and Acts. Then re-read the Kingdom Parables of Jesus; what God’s Kingdom is like. (I’ll be doing a mini-series soon on the Kingdom Parables).

Why? Because you’ll discover afresh God’s Heart, the Father’s Heart, for everyone who doesn’t know Him yet. You’ll be encouraged to know the LORD still wants them to be saved. Think about Noah building his Ark, the people laughing at him, the mocking he endured as year after year as he built his boat on the hill. Then when the LORD sent the rain, who got into the Ark with Noah? It was his son’s and their wives, his whole HOUSEHOLD (OIKOS). Throughout the Bible you’ll discover the LORD’S HEART for the extended family of those who LOVE HIM. How His blessings flow from generation to generation of those who put their trust in the LORD. The same is true of many of the great people of God in the Bible; Jacob, Joseph in Egypt his whole family saved, Abraham, etc… God’s HEART is to SAVE your extended family and those who know you well.

Next: Be encouraged, because very few people accept the Gospel the first time they hear it.

Think about how many times you had to hear about Jesus before you eventually; believed in Him, felt remorse for your sins and repented of your old way of life and received the Lord Jesus as Saviour. When you consider how long it took you, how stubborn you were, how you had to have your foolish thinking challenged and changed before you said “YES” to Jesus, well then it makes it easier to handle their initial or repeated rejection of the Good News. Don’t give up, because God didn’t give up on you.

Don’t Give Up, Because God Didn’t Give-Up on YOU!

Next: When the Gospel is NOT Good News for some people:

For some people, God’s Good News of the Gospel is not good news for them, because many sinners love their life of sin, they can’t imagine what life would be like without it and believe they’d feel hemmed-in, trapped, curtailed from enjoying life as much. So it’s no wonder they don’t surrender to Jesus immediately. It might take them a few days, months or even years to realise that the sinful lifestyle (life without God) is empty and doesn’t really bring them lasting satisfaction in their soul, also that rejection of God’s offer of new life will begin to plague them. Their Conscience springs to life when you’ve shared about Jesus and it does so every time you are with them, because you become a living Gospel presentation every time they meet you. It’s as if you’re preaching to their Conscience just by being there. They will be reminded of the Good News when they see you, they will be reminded how they’ve chosen to reject Jesus.

So don’t feel defeated or discouraged by their initial or repeated rejection of Jesus and His offer of New Life.

The Wearing Down Process:

It take years for a river to form a canyon.

My Father In-Law: Called it the wearing down process.

My wife, when she wanted something from her father, didn’t ask just once. She asked him again and again, giving more and more reasons why she should have what she wanted. She was an expert at wrangling things out of her father. He said, “Julie can wrap me around her little finger” Why? Because she knew her daddy loved her. She knew her father’s heart. She knew it brought him great pleasure to see her happy. So my wife learned the wearing-down-process.

Your friends, can be worn-down by God too. They’ll be wooed by the Gospel. They’ll be won over time because they’ll eventually see, know, recognise that Jesus Gospel is REAL, Genuine and True. However, please remember, time is short, we don’t know how long we’ve got left on this earth, their eternal destiny is at stake, we don’t want anyone in our OIKOS to die without trusting in Jesus.

SHALLOW Ground or Rocky Road Hearers:

Too many come to Jesus thoughtlessly, i.e. not knowing enough, they don’t put their faith upon the ROCK, but on the shifting sands of their feelings. They’ll remain for only a short time, because they’ve not really trusted in the Lord Jesus, but just an idea of what trusting Jesus would be like.

Too many come too quickly and don’t really leave behind their life of sin. They want to have a foot in both camps; the Kingdom of God and the kingdom of Satan. Remember Jesus said, “You cannot serve both God and mammon”… Why? “Because you’ll love the one and hate the other”…

Matthew 6:19-24 (NIV)
19 “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal.
20  But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal.
21  For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
22  “The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are good, your whole body will be full of light.
23  But if your eyes are bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness!
24  “No-one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money.

The meaning of Jesus’ words have been debated, but it’s obvious really, we can’t serve God and SIN. One or the other will be our Master, we cannot LOVE both at the same time. Repent of your sins and turn afresh to Jesus Christ to be forgiven, cleansed, renewed. Seek the fullness of Holy Spirit to enable you to say “NO!” to sin again in your life.

Conclusion:

Pray always for your friends and family in your OIKOS who’ve rejected Jesus offer of new life and His gift of Eternal life.

  • Don’t give up on them, because God didn’t give up on you.
  • Remember, God’s wearing down and wooing process, He’s drawing people, by His Holy Spirit to Himself.
  • Remember, God’s given them a Conscience, every time they see you their conscience will be pricked.
  • Keep loving them even more, because it’s like heaping burning coals into their lap.
  • Remember, the Father’s Heart: He wants ALL PEOPLE to be SAVED. Everyone to come to repentance. He’s patient too.

Be blessed and encouraged to keep sharing Jesus, again and again and again. God is patient, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.

Don.

The Parable of The Sower:

The KEY to unlocking every parable of Jesus.

Mark 4:1-20 (NIV)
1  Again Jesus began to teach by the lake. The crowd that gathered round him was so large that he got into a boat and sat in it out on the lake, while all the people were along the shore at the water’s edge.
2  He taught them many things by parables, and in his teaching said:
3  “Listen! A farmer went out to sow his seed.
4  As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up.
5  Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow.
6  But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root.
7  Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants, so that they did not bear grain.
8  Still other seed fell on good soil. It came up, grew and produced a crop, multiplying thirty, sixty, or even a hundred times.”
9  Then Jesus said, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear.”
10  When he was alone, the Twelve and the others around him asked him about the parables.
11  He told them, “The secret of the kingdom of God has been given to you. But to those on the outside everything is said in parables
12  so that, ” ‘they may be ever seeing but never perceiving, and ever hearing but never understanding; otherwise they might turn and be forgiven!’ ”
13  Then Jesus said to them, “Don’t you understand this parable? How then will you understand any parable?
14  The farmer sows the word.
15  Some people are like seed along the path, where the word is sown. As soon as they hear it, Satan comes and takes away the word that was sown in them.
16  Others, like seed sown on rocky places, hear the word and at once receive it with joy.
17  But since they have no root, they last only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, they quickly fall away.
18  Still others, like seed sown among thorns, hear the word; 19  but the worries of this life, the deceitfulness of wealth and the desires for other things come in and choke the word, making it unfruitful.
20  Others, like seed sown on good soil, hear the word, accept it, and produce a crop—thirty, sixty or even a hundred times what was sown.”
We all want to think of ourselves as “Good soil hearers”… Are we producing a crop of seeds to plant again in the hearts of others? When we begin to share (plant the seed) what we’ve received, then we become the Good Soil Hearers.

 

When Jesus Forgives

how much we love Jesus will be shown by our appreciation of how much we've been forgiven

Daily Spirit & Word: 733: When Jesus Forgives.

The Woman With The Alabaster Jar

Good morning my friends, you know I said yesterday that it was my day off, well in the evening I had to attend a School Governor’s Meeting at St Luke’s School. The Head of School shared about a certain class that were being challenged to make progress and try harder. On the wall in huge letters it reads, “With Jesus Help We Can”… she pointed out the words and encouraged the class to ask for the Lord to help them understand. She reported, “That class is making progress, the children’s faces light up and they actually ask Jesus for help”…  My friends, when we see Jesus at work like that in our schools and in the lives of children in London today it is an amazing encouragment. It also makes me want to turn afresh to the Lord Jesus in faith today.

Today’s passage comes from Luke’s Gospel and he shares the account of how a sinful woman finds forgiveness in Jesus, but what is it about Jesus in this story that encourages you?

Luke 7:36-50 (NIV)
36 Now one of the Pharisees invited Jesus to have dinner with him, so he went to the Pharisee’s house and reclined at the table.
37  When a woman who had lived a sinful life in that town learned that Jesus was eating at the Pharisee’s house, she brought an alabaster jar of perfume, 38  and as she stood behind him at his feet weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears. Then she wiped them with her hair, kissed them and poured perfume on them.
39  When the Pharisee who had invited him saw this, he said to himself, “If this man were a prophet, he would know who is touching him and what kind of woman she is—that she is a sinner.”
40  Jesus answered him, “Simon, I have something to tell you.” “Tell me, teacher,” he said.
41  “Two men owed money to a certain money-lender. One owed him five hundred denarii, and the other fifty.
42  Neither of them had the money to pay him back, so he cancelled the debts of both. Now which of them will love him more?”
43  Simon replied, “I suppose the one who had the bigger debt cancelled.” “You have judged correctly,” Jesus said.
44  Then he turned towards the woman and said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? I came into your house. You did not give me any water for my feet, but she wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair.
45  You did not give me a kiss, but this woman, from the time I entered, has not stopped kissing my feet.
46  You did not put oil on my head, but she has poured perfume on my feet.
47  Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven—for she loved much. But he who has been forgiven little loves little.”
48  Then Jesus said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.”
49  The other guests began to say among themselves, “Who is this who even forgives sins?”
50  Jesus said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.”
First The Pharisee’s Hospitality:

At first you think this Pharisee is being kind to Jesus, inviting him to dinner, but we soon discover that he didn’t even perform the customary greeting or extend the normal welcome. He didn’t greet Jesus with a kiss, he didn’t wash Jesus’ feet, he didn’t anoint Jesus with oil. All of these were normal practice for an honoured guest. It was just customary good manners. It’s a bit like offering someone a cup of tea and a little snack when they come to visit you in London.  What does that tell you about the Pharisee? It reveals that his motives for inviting Jesus to dinner were NOT to honour Him. So we’re left wondering why on earth the Pharisee invited Jesus in the first place.

A Rabbi would be welcomed with a customary kiss.

A Rabbi would have his feet washed, because in those days the roads were dusty and feet would get dirty. The cool water on the feet would also bring comfort.

A Rabbi would also be anointed with some kind of perfume; normally rose water.

That Pharisee didn’t honour the Lord Jesus.

 

My friends, when you follow Jesus Christ today, He comes with you wherever you go. That’s why Jesus said, “Whoever welcomes one of my Disciples, welcomes me”… He is with us, but how do we honour Jesus’ presence? Does his presence make us weep over our sinfulness? Does his presence make us want to honour him and serve him, like the sinful woman did?

 

Let’s see what she did for Jesus that day.

 

The Sinful Woman’s Actions:

  • A SINNER: She knew she was a sinner, she had “lived a sinful life”
  • COMES TO JESUS: She came where she knew Jesus was: Whenever a Rabbi entered a home of a wealthy man, many people would gather around the honoured guest, homes were much more open in those days and that explains how the woman could enter the house so easily.
  • READY TO ANOINT: The very fact that she carried an Alabaster Jar full of perfume indicates that she intended to use it to anoint Jesus. So we don’t know if she’d already met Jesus and had been forgiven by him. Perhaps she was the woman who’d been caught in the act of adultery, we just don’t know.
  • WASHES FEET WITH TEARS: What we do know is this: She wet Jesus feet with her tears: She was either full of remorse about her sinful life or so overcome with joy at being forgiven by Jesus. All we know is that In the presence of Jesus she wept. She was crying so much that her tears soaked Jesus feet.
  • DRIED FEET WITH HAIR: Next she wiped Jesus’ feet with her hair. This too shows us the extent of her remorse and sadness about her sins. Who would wipe a person’s feet with their hair? That’s not normal. A woman’s hair is her glory, but she’s just used it to do the most base act. I don’t know anyone who’d wipe a person’s feet with their hair today and our feet a cleaner than those of someone in Jesus day.
  • KISSES JESUS FEET: Then she began to kiss Jesus’ feet: Who kisses another person’s feet? It’s normal for a defeated foe to bow down and kiss the conqueror’s feet. But it’s not normal to kiss someone’s feet. She must have been so overcome with relief and joy to have been forgiven by Jesus.
  • ANOINTS WITH OIL: Next, she anointed Jesus feet with the perfumed oil from the Alabaster Jar. The smell in the Pharisees’ house would be sweet and pungent.

Though she was a sinner she did everything the host of the house should have done to honour him. It’s strange that a supposed ‘righteous’ man, the Pharisee, didn’t see the need to honour Jesus with the normal good manners, but the SINNER didn’t stop honouring him from the moment she arrived.

The Pharisee’s Attitude Towards The Sinful Woman and Jesus.

Luke 7:39  When the Pharisee who had invited him saw this, he said to himself, “If this man were a prophet, he would know who is touching him and what kind of woman she is—that she is a sinner.”

In those days if a Pharisee was touched by a sinner or a sin contaminated person, then he’d be ritually unclean, so they avoided being touched. Remember the story of the Good Samaritan how the Priest and Levite avoided helping the wounded man, for fear of being made unclean. That’s not what God meant when He said we should avoid sin, whenever we can help someone, we should. Even the most sinful person can be given hope of a changed life. But according to the Pharisees, once a sinner, always a sinner. They looked down on sinful people and avoided all contact with them. Even today some strict sects of Jews will not touch anyone who is not a Jew. They view them as sinners or unclean. So the Pharisee is condemning of Jesus as well as having a stand-off attitude towards the sinful woman. He’s questioning Jesus prophetic anointing simply because Jesus is allowing himself to be touched by a supposed sinner. Simon didn’t know if Jesus had already forgiven this woman.

You can almost hear the condemnation: “She is a SINNER”… i.e. in the mind of the Pharisee, there was no hope for the woman, she was a sinner once and she’ll always be that sinful woman.

Jesus Didn’t Condemn or Criticise The Sinful Woman.

He’s a wonderful example of how we should be towards those we KNOW are sinners. We cannot be like that Pharisee, because we know how much the Lord has also forgiven us. We too are sinners and we too need to be cleansed and forgiven.

That little story of Jesus about the debts being forgiven.

I love the way that Luke has recounted this meeting in the Pharisee’s house.

He sets the scene and right in the middle includes one of the most amazing and insightful teachings of Jesus.

In just two verses we discover pure GOLD:

Luke 7:41-42.
41  “Two men owed money to a certain money-lender. One owed him five hundred denarii, and the other fifty.
42  Neither of them had the money to pay him back, so he cancelled the debts of both. Now which of them will love him more?”

Five Hundred or Fifty: That’s an amazing difference. Of course the one who’s been let off the most debt is the one who’d be most appreciative. But you’d think that the one who’d been forgiven a little would also be a little bit grateful.

The Pharisee got it right, but then Jesus points out the sinful woman: She’s been doing for me Simon what you should have done. Imagine how Simon the Pharisee must have felt at that moment in time? Confronted and shown how wrong his own attitude was towards both the sinful woman and Jesus. I’ll bet he wanted to hide under his dinner table that day.

I don’t know if you’ve ever had that feeling coming upon you? I’ve had it a few times, when the Lord brings conviction, all you want to do is hide. I had it in church once, I was looking at other people and in my heart judging them. Then the Lord spoke to me, “Who are you to condemn anyone else, I’ve forgiven them, I’ve also forgiven you”…. I’ll never forget how embarrassed I was, my face went red, I bowed my head and closed my eyes and asked Jesus to forgive me. I was reminded of just how much I’d been forgiven and that it was my own sins that put the nails in Jesus’ hands and feet, and the spear into his side. It was my sins that thrust the crown of thorns upon His head.

The the most amazing pronouncement from Jesus lips:

“Your sins are forgiven.” and “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.”

The woman’s actions towards Jesus demonstrated her faith. She believed that Jesus was the one good, righteous, religious, Rabbi who wouldn’t condemn her, she came to Jesus and cried at his feet and ends up being forgiven and more “go in peace”. There’s a deep peace we experience when we’ve been cleansed and forgiven by the Lord Jesus.

I’ve been a Christian since 1984, but I feel Jesus is asking me afresh this morning, “Donald, How’s your LOVE for Me?”

I think about that poor woman who was so aware of her sinful condition and probably reminded about it constantly by those who knew all about her life. No wonder she was so filled with faith when she encountered Jesus and wanted to do anything she could for him.

The story doesn’t tell us when Jesus forgave the woman. It might have been before he went to the Pharisees house to have dinner that day and she later discovered where Jesus was and wanted to do something special for Him. We don’t know if it was at the house she was forgiven, but we know she was a sinner, she acted in faith and was rewarded by being forgiven and sent away in peace.

I think how much I love Jesus will be determined by how much I know I’ve been forgiven and the cost of my forgiveness. Jesus gave His life so that I could be clean. When I experience the cleansing and washing away of my sins it produces within me an inward gratitude and inexpressible joy, it means that I want to serve the Lord Jesus and give so much, that like the woman with the expensive alabaster jar, I’ll pour out my life and what I’ve been given in His service. Oh LORD Jesus, I love You.

FAITH that expresses itself in LOVE towards Jesus.

  • When we’ve been forgiven by Him all SHAME is removed.
  • When we’ve been forgiven by Him all CONDEMNATION is washed away.
  • When we’ve been forgiven by Him new LOVE grows within us.
  • When we’ve been forgiven by Him new LIFE begins.

When we’ve been forgiven so much by Jesus, we’ll LOVE Him lots too.

Notice Jesus words again; “Your sins are forgiven.” and “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.”

Jesus gives us FAITH to believe, then rewards us when we use the FAITH we’ve been given and gives us PEACE. That’s such Amazing Grace.

Finally, we’re left with the people questioning: “Who is this who even forgives sins?” The Jews knew that God alone can forgive sins. Jesus was God on earth, because we know too that ONLY God can forgive sin. But I’ve written enough for today 🙂

How much we love Jesus will be shown by how much we appreciate we’ve been forgiven by Him.

Hope you all have a fantastic Friday and a wonderful faith filled weekend with Jesus.

Don.

 

How to follow Jesus Daily

living sacrifices crawl off the altar, but with Jesus all things are possible

Daily Spirit & Word: 732: How To Follow Jesus Daily.

Christian, when you think you can’t, remember, in Jesus you can.

Say out loud today a few times: “In Christ I Can”…

Good morning my friends, It’s my day off today, so I thought I’d reflect upon my week so far.

What a weeks it’s been: hard, good, brilliant, tough, sad, moving, challenging, encouraging; and it’s only Thursday  😎

First, it’s a privilege and a joy to serve the Lord, but do we really get a day off?

As a Christian, we don’t want to spend any time away from Jesus, but we all need time off from our labours. I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again, it’s better to loose a little bit of money and have a decent amount of time with friends and family, than it is to be rich and exhausted. If we don’t take time to be WITH folks, then our relationship with them will drift apart. We’ve got to MAKE the effort.

Second, it’s a privilege and joy to serve the Lord’s people.

We are more family with them than than our blood family. Out eternal family are closer kin than blood relatives. Why? Because we’ve got the blood of Christ sacrificed for us flowing through our veins. We’re members of God’s holy household and heirs together of His Kingdom. So when we give to our Kingdom Family; time, talents, treasures and loving service, we’re building God’s Kingdom and making those bonds even stronger.

I was reminded about this by our Administrator Amanda, who said, “I’m closer to my Christian family than my earthly family”… Our Christian family will last longer than our earthly family too, because we’ll be together in Heaven.

Don’t get me wrong: I love my earthly family much more now that I’m a Christian than I ever have: How do I love them more? Because I try to demonstrate 1 Corinthian 13 love with them. It’s not always EASY: we need to be patient with ourselves as much as with them.

Third, I’m learning afresh that Sanctification is instant, but transformation takes a lifetime.

We are daily being transformed into the likeness of Christ, but that’s a whole lifetime’s work and we’ll never get there, but should always strive for it, by allowing the Holy Spirit access and inviting His presence to bring it about. We’re made Saints the instant we’re born of the Spirit. Regeneration, like Creation was instant: God spoke and the universe came into being. It was instantaneous. We said “Yes” to Jesus, “I repent of my sins and receive You as my Lord” and instantly we’re born anew of God’s Holy Spirit. However, the old nature dies hard and needs to be put to death every single day.

There is a continual discovery of how we need renewal in our mind: I need my own mind renewed daily, because I can see how my old ways of thinking are not quite put to death.  Romans 12:2 (NIV) “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”

There’s STRONG PRESSURE from the world to conform to it’s ways of thinking, to it’s ways of doing, to it’s ways of being. So I need to STAY CLOSE to the LORD Jesus Christ every single day. Only then will I see HOW the world is pulling, tugging, teasing and tempting.

How to stay close to Jesus: Prayer, Word, Praise, Worship, Service, Fellowship, Ministry.

When we get ALL of these in balance in our life, DAILY, then we’ll be able to maintain a close and consistent walk with the LORD. It does take personal effort and daily sacrifice, but it also takes a willingness to allow Holy Spirit access to do the TRANSFORMATION for us, in us and through us.

A wonderful insightful phrase is doing the rounds again. “Living sacrifices crawl off the altar”… i.e. the natural man doesn’t want to die.

Romans 12:1 (NIV) “Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship.”

Oh yes Lord, “but living sacrifices tend to crawl off the altar”… We make the excuse don’t we? We tell ourselves, “But I’m just human”, well we’re not just human, as Christians we’re both; human and divine, because we’ve been born again into God’s family, that means we’ve got the Holy Spirit living in us, so we are HOLY. We’re not the same as the rest of the people in this world any-longer, we’re transformed into members of God’s own family now and are daily being made new into the likeness of Jesus Christ.

Jesus said it like this; “Take Up your Cross Daily and follow Me”.

Luke 9:23 (ESV) “And he said to all, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.”

We have a daily choice, even on our day off, to follow Jesus or live for self. It’s a daily denial if selfishness or of living life just for Donald.

A thought, which arose at Alpha this week. “If I die to myself, won’t I be lost, won’t I just be some kind of robot?” No my friends, when we die to self and allow the Holy Spirit to rule and reign in our life today, we’ll become more of the person God created us to be.

When you think you can’t do it, when you can’t make it, then remember Jesus’ cross. He did it for YOU! Because He loves you. He’s got ALL you need and more to be a wonderful, successful and vibrant light for Him in this world today.

So dear brothers and sisters in Jesus’ Kingdom family, when you think you can’t do it, remember Jesus Cross and what He’s provided so that you’ll be able to declare boldly; “I CAN DO ALL THINGS (not in my own strength, but) THROUGH CHRIST WHO STRENGTHENS ME”…

Come afresh to Jesus every single day and you’ll KNOW this truth my friends, “In Christ, I CAN”…

I’m going to worship Him NOW! Enjoy your day my friends.

Don.

Some Verses From God’s Word:

These may be helpful for you today:

Philippians 4:13 (ESV)
13  I can do all things through him who strengthens me.

2 Corinthians 12:9 (NIV)
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.

Ephesians 3:16 (ANIV)
16  I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being,

1 Timothy 1:12 (ESV)
12  I thank him who has given me strength, Christ Jesus our Lord, because he judged me faithful, appointing me to his service,

Falling In LOVE with Jesus:

Some Verses From God’s Word:

These may be helpful for you today:

Philippians 4:13 (ESV)
13  I can do all things through him who strengthens me.

2 Corinthians 12:9 (NIV)
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.

Ephesians 3:16 (ANIV)
16  I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being,

1 Timothy 1:12 (ESV)
12  I thank him who has given me strength, Christ Jesus our Lord, because he judged me faithful, appointing me to his service,

 

Encouragement: Seeking The LORD: Falling in Love with Jesus.

Preaching True Repentance

The ingredients of true repentance

Daily Spirit & Word: 725:

TRUE REPENTANCE: Not Just Saying “Sorry” to God.

True Repentance Is NOT Just Saying “Sorry”…

True Repentance Is A Requirement For: Salvation from,  Forgiveness for and Cleansing From Sin.

KNOW THE TRUTH & THE TRUTH SHALL SET YOU FREE

Mark 6:12-13 (NIV)
12  They went out and preached that people should repent.
13  They drove out many demons and anointed many sick people with oil and healed them.

I was so touched last night when out sharing the Good News of Jesus in West Norwood with David and Ben. For a change we ventured just up from our church to West Norwood Train Station and began engaging those returning from a day’s work as they exited the entrance. Of course many people after a day’s toil were tired and just wanted to get home, put their feet up and watch TV or whatever else they planned to do. But we did get into some great conversations. Ben and David talked with a Muslim woman for over half and hour, and all that time I was talking to a couple of young ladies.

It was amazing, because I began by giving them one of our little tracts, The Million Pound Note: I asked them, “If it was real, what would you do with it?” One of them immediately said, “I give half of it away to the poor”… I said, “WOWzer! What a nice lady you are”. I asked her friend, “What would you do with it?” She said, “I’d go on a holiday, then buy a nice house”… then her friend said, “We could go away together”… They were really nice young ladies. I said, “flip it over and look at the Million Pound Question”. One of them did and read it out loud, “Would you sell one of your eyes for £1,000,000?” She said, “No way. My eyes are too valuable”… I said, that’s amazing. Her friend also confirmed she wouldn’t sell one of her eyes either.

Then we moved on to the value of their Eternal Soul.

What followed was a bit of to and fro about; the SOUL, Eternity, Heaven, Hell, Sin, etc…

I was able to share the whole Gospel with them and finally led to the question: “If God were to judge you tonight, according to His standards revealed in His Commandments, would you go to heaven or hell?”

Their heads hung low and they went a bit quiet, “Hell” they both answered.

I asked, “Does that concern you?” One said, “Yes” and the other said, “No, because God is a forgiving God”…

I said, “You are right, God is a forgiving God, but it’s not automatic”… “It doens’t just happen, God doesn’t say, “Oh, I know you’ve sinned, but it’s OK, you just come on in anyway”… I explained, “God can’t do that, because as well as being; full of mercy, kindness, goodness, forgiveness and gentleness, He’s also a just Judge and must punish sin. He can’t in His Justice just let sinners off with their sins”.

The Good Earthly Judge: I then gave them an example of a good earthly judge, who with a guilty criminal before him, no matter how sorry he is, must give the punishment or fine that the LAW requires. They agreed, criminals need to be punished for their crimes. I explained that God will also punish our sin. One lie will keep us out of Heaven forever, because sin contaminates the soul, and no sin contaminated soul can enter into Heaven. “Can you imagine what Heaven would be like if it was full or murderers and liars?”

So I asked them again, “Will you go to Heaven or Hell?” They had now stopped trying to justify themselves, but said instead, “Well, that means nobody can go to Heaven”BOOM! “You’ve got it ladies, that’s right, because ALL HAVE SINNED, just ONE sin will keep us out of Heaven forever.”

Then I asked, “Do you know what God has done so that no one need end up in Hell?” They said they didn’t, but I inquired further, “Christians all over the world have just celebrated Easter. Have you heard about Jesus? How He died upon a Cross? How Jesus rose again three days later on the first Easter Sunday?” It was like I just brought them out of a dark dungeon into the full light of the sun, because they both smiled, “It was because of Jesus death”. I said, “That’s right ladies, Jesus died so that we could go to Heaven and be forgiven and cleansed from sin to be made fit for heaven. His blood purifies us from all sin. He died for you and me.”

One of them said, “So does that mean everyone just ends up in heaven then?”

I said, “NO, Not quite, something is required from us, we must first Believe and TRUST in Jesus death in our place for our sin, then we need to Confess (own up and accept we are sinners) and REPENT of our sinful ways of living, then we must RECEIVE Jesus as our Lord and Saviour.” I explained what happens when we do that and how Jesus gives us a NEW HEART and NEW LIFE and NEW DESIRES… i.e. The Commandments are not prohibitions any more “Don’t Do this or Don’t do that”, but they become for those who’ve trusted in Jesus, wonderful promises; “You shall not want to steal, kill, lie, cheat, argue, hate, lust or commit adultery any more”… God changes our desires.

One of them smiled again and said jokingly “So that means no more illegal downloads of music then?”

What followed was an explanation of what life is like from now on as a believer….

  • They wanted to know how I became a follower of Jesus,
  • They wanted to know more about church,
  • They wanted to wait until they were ready,
  • They wanted an excuse to remain in sin,
  • They still had lots of questions they wanted to ask,

It was an amazing conversation, but it ended with me saying, “Look I know you’ve got lots more questions, but do you have a Bible at home?” They both had Bibles at home they had never read…   I said, “Go home and open your own Bible in Matthew, Mark, Luke or John and read about Jesus life and His message. Check out if what I’m saying to you is TRUE from what the Bible says. Then remember what I’ve said, “You must turn from your sin to trust in Jesus and receive Him as your King”

Then if you want to, come and join us (I pointed to our Church) you’d be more than welcome any Sunday at 10.30am. It was so encouraging one of the young ladies said, “I’m going to come to your church”… I also encouraged them to come on our Alpha Course to ask all their questions.

But I gave them this final warning, “We don’t know how long we’ve got left on this earth” I told them about Anja who’d come because I’d met her in the street and shared about Jesus, and how her baby had died unexpectedly. We just don’t know how long we’ve got before we can come to God for forgiveness and cleansing to make us fit for heaven. I said the Bible encourages us to think like this, “Today is the Day of Salvation: Repent and Believe the Good News”…. Ladies, believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and Repent today.

I finished by thanking them, gave them another of our little cards that reads, “Thank you for listening” it’s got a picture of a cute dog with big ears and a summary of the conversation we’d just had on the back.

We shook hands warmly and they thanked me as we parted company.

What is TRUE REPENTANCE? (SEE BELOW).

I was reading all about it this morning and came across an old Puritan teaching the outlines what ‘real’ repentance is like: Read it below and then ask yourself this question: “Have I ‘truly’ repented of my sins and trusted in Jesus Christ as my Lord?” Have an AWESOME Thursday with Jesus.

Please Pray: We had many conversations last night, I’ve only shared one of them, please will you pray for everyone who was encouraged, challenged and witnessed with last night? Pray that the Lord Jesus, by His Holy Spirit, will continued to draw them to Himself and that they’ll find GRACE to repent and believe the Good News.

Challenge: Keep Witnessing: The Lord’s Followers will be strengthened and encouraged in many ways by taking the initiative to witness for Him with all their family, friends, neighbours and those they come in contact with regularly, those who know you are His followers. Be kind, generous, gentle, bold, passionate and compassionate. May the LORD fill you afresh with Holy Spirit anointing. Amen!

Don.

 

THE INGREDIENTS OF TRUE REPENTANCE:

Mark 6:12-13 (NIV)
12  They went out and preached that people should repent.
13  They drove out many demons and anointed many sick people with oil and healed them.

When we make a cake it needs the right ingredients to taste great. We follow recipes for successful and tasty cakes. To discover what true repentance looks, tastes and feels like, there are Biblical recipes to follow too.

These final two verses are from Mark’s account of Jesus sending out The TWELVE (Mark 6:7-13). The two verses summarize the specifics of the 12 Apostles’ mission. It mirrors what they had seen Jesus do. With His authority and enablement, they cast out many demons. They anointed with oil many who were sick and healed them (cf. Jas 5:14-16). They went out and preached repentance, the same message preached by both John the Baptist (Mark 1:4) and Jesus ( Mark 1:15). They were to go as servants. They were not to compromise their message even if it brought rejection and persecution. They had to have the courage to tell the truth about Jesus and the gospel.

If “repentance” was the first word out of the mouth of John the Baptist, The Lord Jesus Christ, and the 12 Apostles (Acts 2:38), then it must be an important component of the true gospel message today and it marks the starting point of the true Christian life.

Thomas Watson, and Old English Puritan (ca. 1620-1686), wrote a helpful treatise on repentance. He stated, “Repentance is a grace of God’s Spirit whereby a sinner is inwardly humbled and visibly reformed” [Watson, Doctrine, 18]….

Watson identified six ingredients necessary for true repentance.

The first is sight of sin, whereby a person comes to themselves (Luke 15:17) and clearly views their lifestyle as sinful. If a disciple fails to see their sin, they are rarely motivated to repent…. (That’s why we take time to show people how they’ve sinned against God by using His Ten Commandments: How we’ve all offended a Holy and Righteous God).

The second ingredient for true repentance is sorrow for sin (Ps 38:18). We need to feel the nails of the cross in our soul as we sin. Repentance includes a godly grief, a holy agony (2 Cor 7:10) i.e. “It’s because of my sin those nails pierced the Saviour’s hands”. The fruits of repentance will be expressed in genuine, anguishing sorrow over the offense itself and not just its consequences. This sorrow for sin is more than just a “worldly grief”; it will be seen in the ongoing actions it produces (the fruit of repentance is a changed life).

The third ingredient is confession of sin. The humble sinner voluntarily passes judgment on themselves as they sincerely admit to the specific sins of their heart…. In the Scriptures, we find at least seven benefits to confession:

  • Confession of sin gives glory to God (Josh 7:19).
  • Confession of sin is a means to humble the soul (2 Chr 26:19).
  • Confession of sin gives release to a troubled heart (Ps 51:11-12).
  • Confession of sin purges out sin (Neh 3:13). Augustine called it “the expeller of vice.”
  • Confession of sin endears Christ to the soul that needs atoning (Rom 7:25).
  • Confession of sin makes way for forgiveness (2 Sam 12:13; 1 John 1:9).
  • Confession of sin makes way for mercy (Prov 28:13).

The fourth ingredient of true repentance is shame for sin: True Repentance causes a holy bashfulness or embarrassment, i.e. it is the shame you feel when your inadequacy or guilt is made public. The Prophet Ezra prayed, “O my God, I am ashamed and blush to lift my face to You, my God, for our iniquities have risen higher than our heads, and our guilt has mounted up to the heavens” (Ezra 9:6). The repenting prodigal was so ashamed of his sin that he did not feel he deserved to be a son anymore (Luke 15:21). It’s like our Sin makes us feel shamefully naked and deformed in God’s eyes and puts Christ to shame, the one who took the scorn of the cross on himself. I’ve often feelt ashamed when I’ve been confronted by my sinfulness in the presence of God and when I’m will other believers who are walking closely with Jesus.

The fifth ingredient in true repentance is a sincere hatred of sin: We must hate our sin to the core. We hate sin more deeply when we love Jesus more fully.

Repentance begins with the love of God and ends with hatred of sin…. Tolerating sin is a willful leap toward committing it. True repentance loathes sin deeply.

Finally, the sixth progressive ingredient of true repentance is turning from sin and returning to the Lord “with all your heart” (Joel 2:12). This turning from sin implies a notable change in the ways we live, “performing deeds in keeping with their repentance” (Acts 26:20). Ezekiel records these words of God to the house of Israel: “Repent and turn away from your idols, and turn away your faces from all your abominations” (Ezek 14:6).

We are called to turn away from all our abominations—not just the obvious ones or the ones that create friction in others. The goal, end, destination or finish-line of true repentance is not to manufacture peace among others with perfunctory repentance, but rather to turn to God with all your heart, mind, soul and strength.

Most importantly, though, this repentance is not just a turning away from sin; it is also a turning “of repentance toward God and faith in our Lord Jesus” (Acts 20:21). [We should repent of our] doubt by believing in the goodness, greatness and graciousness of God, and [turning] in faith to trust in the freedom the Lord Jesus Christ offers to each one of us in the Gospel. Repentance is rooted in a hatred of sin and a joyful awareness of God’s loving-kindness, which leads to joy: “God’s kindness is intended to lead you to repentance” (Rom 2:4). We rejoice that Christ has done everything for us—all that we need to secure our salvation and our growth in holiness.

Christ’s Warning: Repent or Perish: “Unless you repent, you too will perish”

Luke 13:3 (NIV) “I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish.”

  • Why do ‘modern’ churches hate to teach on repentance?
  • What’s wrong with preaching repentance?

Answer: NOTHING: Because true repentance is one of the KEYS to unlock HEAVEN. (Only Satan would hate a Christian telling people to REPENT).

The man-pleasing, modern, self-indulgent church has bent God’s KEY out of shape. Let’s straighten it and do what Christ has commanded: Preach Repentance.

PRAYER: “Lord,  I am an adopted child, not a slave to sin. I was a sinner by now, by Your Grace and Mercy, I am a Saint. I know the TRUTH and in knowing the truth I have been set free. Thank You LORD Jesus Christ, because I am accepted because of Your sacrifice upon the Cross. Please Lord, help me never to forget how much You have demonstrated Your love for me or how loved, secure, rich and free I am when I put my trust in You, my Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.”

 

When the TV gets in the way of LIFE

seek first His Kingdom and His righteousness

Daily Word & Spirit: 724: Does God Get What He Wants?

Good morning my friends, it was such a privilege to conduct two funerals this week, one on Monday and the other yesterday. The first was for a wonderful Christian lady, the church was packed with friends and relatives from all over the world. I proclaimed the Gospel freely and called for a decision for Jesus Christ. Yesterday, an equally lovely lady, but who’s faith I knew very little about, the family said, “She was not a religious lady”… her family, as far as I knew, never attended church. What could I say to those grieving folks?

Matthew 6:25-34 (NIV)
25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes?
26  Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?
27  Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?
28  “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labour or spin.
29  Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendour was dressed like one of these.
30  If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?
31  So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’
32  For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them.
33  But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.
34  Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

The second group of mourners were all giving wonderful stories about the woman’s life; she was full of fun, knew how to laugh at herself and loved people, she was generous to a fault, giving so much sometimes that she was in need herself, but just thinking of others. As I read the above passage,I believe the Lord guided me to say, “Just like …. we can all learn from this, she obviously didn’t WORRY about her life”.

The world we live in encourages us to WORRY: i.e. adverts about your weight, style, looks, have you got the right tools, is your home looking like a palace, have you got the right garden furniture, are you eating the right foods, etc, etc,,, You’d be excused if you walked to your bed so worried after watching TV for just one evening. I’m sure you’d dream and they’d be full of worries about life. But thankfully Jesus tells us DO NOT WORRY. Why? Because who of us by worrying can add a single hour to his life?

The Gospel of Luke covers the same teaching of Jesus, but gives us a little more details: Luke 12:25-26 (NIV) “Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?”

I love the Bible (God’s) logic here, “Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?”

We may or may not have a long life, but worrying about it’s duration won’t guarantee it. I’m sure we can shorten it though, through folly, but we can’t extend it longer than God intends it to be. “The LORD gives and the LORD takes away”… Sometimes, like when you mum or dad confiscated a precious toy when you were a child, that confiscation really hurts. When the LORD takes someone we love, no matter how old they are, it HURTS us, but we can’t lengthen the duration of our lives by worrying about them.

So what are we to do?

Thankfully the Bible gives us the answers:

Matthew 6:33But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”

1) Seek First The KINGDOM of God.

(Remember that’s same priority in the Lord’s Prayer?)…

When we seek first the Kingdom of God, we’re putting God’s priorities at the TOP of the agenda of our lives.

The woman being buried yesterday loved to play CARDS: Have you ever played Patience? Patience is a game in which you are looking to line-up all your cards on the King, once you get the whole suit; i.e. hearts, spades, clubs or diamonds, onto your King, then that row is won.

My friends, God wants us to line-up our life along the lines of His KINGDOM. i.e. He wants to be our KING. Every aspect of our lives in-line with His Kingdom priorities. How’s your KINGDOM living going?

2) Seek His Righteousness:

Many (most) people already think they are “Good Enough For Heaven” i.e. ‘Righteous’). But the Bible clearly teaches there are “NONE righteous, no not one.” Romans 3:10.

Psalm 53:2-3 (KJV)
2  God looked down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were any that did understand, that did seek God.
3  Every one of them is gone back: they are altogether become filthy; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.

We do good things, but the GOOD the Bible is talking about here is “Seeking AFTER God” i.e. Putting His Kingdom agenda first. He looks down from Heaven and sees that there is “NONE” who do that. There are none who seek Him the way He wants to be sought.

So we NEED God’s Righteousness more than anything else in our lives, because we don’t have a righteousness of our own. It’s HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS we need. Yes we do good things for other people, sometimes we do magnificent acts of great kindness and self-sacrifice, but God’s idea of goodness and righteousness is to seek after Him. Apart from God every act of kindness is tinged with the flesh, i.e. there are fleshly reasons for acting in the ways that we do: To look good in the eyes of others, to be well thought about in society, but what really matters in Eternity is not what others think about us, but what God thinks. If we’re seeking a kind of self-righteousness, thinking that our good deeds will outweigh our bad ones, then we need to think again. The GREATEST SIN is living life without putting God first… i.e. Commandments 1 and 2. If we live without God or seeking after Him, we’re guilty of making ourselves into our own god, which is idolatry.

Imagine how God must feel when those He created and gave the gift of life worship everything else apart from Him?

The Gift Of A TV Set:

To live the life that He has given to us without ever thinking about the ONE who gave us life, that’s the greatest sin imaginable.

It’s like the loving father who bought a TV for his kids. Before he got the TV, they’d come running up to him for kisses and cuddles when he got home from work. Overjoyed just to see their daddy home. After he got the TV, he was hurt when they sat in front of it and paid him no attention at all when he got home. Even if he shouted out to them, they’d just sit there glued to the TV set. He missed the cuddles and kisses of his children. So he walked right in front of the TV and turned it off. The kids moaned and groaned, but he said, “I’m so upset that you love that TV I gave you more than me now”… My friends, have you ever thought how God feels when we love life more than the one who gave us life? When we love this beautiful Creation more than the Creator? When we’re so enamoured with the things in this world, rather than the one who gave us them all to richly enjoy?

To live the life that He has given to us without ever thinking about the ONE who gave us life, that’s the greatest sin imaginable.

A Man After God’s Own Heart:

Remember the Bible called King David, “A man after God’s own heart”… i.e. King David sought the Lord. He looked for God. He wanted God’s priorities to be first in his life. King David did many horrible things in his lifetime, but the Bible accords him “Righteous”, not because of what he did or didn’t do in life, but because he sought the LORD with all his heart, mind, will and strength.

So, do you seek His Righteousness? We become righteous in God’s sight, when we respond to the Gospel invitation to receive Jesus Christ as Lord by faith. When we see that Jesus died in our place upon the Cross for all our sins and wickedness, he died for us. When we see that Jesus rose from the dead three days later and ascended into Heaven. Jesus is calling all people in the world to REPENT and turn away from life without God. To turn in repentance, letting go of our old way of ignoring God and turning to Him in faith to be forgiven, cleansed and renewed.

God wants to GIVE US THE KINGDOM: However, for Him to do so, it was very costly indeed. Jesus gave his life.

All we need to do to receive God’s Kingdom and life is turn in repentance and faith and receive Him as our KING: Then we’ll want to live our lives seeking first the Kingdom of God and we’ll want to live a holy and righteous life with Him.

When we seek first His Kingdom and when we seek first His Righteousness, then He, our Heavenly Father, will give us His Kingdom, He will give us what we NEED in life and we needn’t worry about how long we’re going to live, because ETERNITY is in our hearts, we’re going to LIVE FOREVER WITH HIM. Your needs will be met by God once you seek His Kingdom and His righteousness in all things.

Being ‘good’ in our own eyes, is good and right, but when it comes down to it, God will be looking to see if we’ve been good from His perspective. It’s a matter of righteousness not religiousness. He won’t look to see if you’ve been attending church, reading your Bible, doing good to others and praying. His priority is righteousness, are you good enough for Him? The honest answer He’ll be looking for is “NO!” I’m not fit for the Kingdom of Heaven, because I’ve sinned and broken Your Commandments. However, Father in Heaven, I’ve put my faith and trust in Jesus, Your Son, and I know that His death upon the Cross was for my sins. I’ve asked for His forgiveness and turned in repentance and faith, I’ve received Him as my King. I know that I’m a member of His Kingdom Family.”

He’ll say, “Welcome, I’m PLEASED to give you the Kingdom”…

Praise the Lord!

Don.

 

I’m Going Home To Share The Good News

Jesus experienced rejection of his own family, friends, townsfolk, so don't give up or give in to the fear of rejection,

Good morning my friends, today I’m sharing the message I preached in church yesterday, but it’s even more impacting me than I thought, because there’s a principle that I’ve learned afresh, the importance of persevering in sharing the faith we’ve received no matter what kind of response it provokes in those who hear it. Don’t GIVE UP or GIVE IN when there’s a negative response.

Daily Spirit & Word: 722: Jesus Visits His Home Town.

The Incredible Unbelief in Jesus’ Home-Town of Nazareth.

“FEAR NOTHING”: Said Jesus. “Except: God…” We love all kinds of scary things: wild rides at the fair, scary rides a parks, pranks that make us frightened (the Bush-Man on Facebook), etc… but the one thing we should be afraid of we’re told, “we mustn’t tell people about that” because it’s not NICE to scare people. How is it OK to scare people with ghost, ghool, horror and thriller stories, but it’s NOT OK to scare them about God? My friends, “FEAR GOD”…Why? “Because the fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom”.

Good morning my friends, we’re back with Mark’s Gospel again today, this time our focus is upon Jesus visit to His home town in Nazareth. However, instead of receiving a warm welcome, like those who return from war, he encounters unbelief and criticism, but that has tragic consequences for his townsfolk.

Mark 6:1-6 (NIV)
1 Jesus left there and went to his home town, accompanied by his disciples.
2  When the Sabbath came, he began to teach in the synagogue, and many who heard him were amazed. “Where did this man get these things?” they asked. “What’s this wisdom that has been given him, that he even does miracles!
3  Isn’t this the carpenter? Isn’t this Mary’s son and the brother of James, Joseph, Judas and Simon? Aren’t his sisters here with us?” And they took offence at him.
4  Jesus said to them, “Only in his home town, among his relatives and in his own house is a prophet without honour.”
5  He could not do any miracles there, except lay his hands on a few sick people and heal them.
6  And he was amazed at their lack of faith. Then Jesus went round teaching from village to village.

NOTE: 1: Their Initial Amazement.

The Situation: Jesus has just been thronged by thousands, news was spreading fast about all the miracles he’s been performing around the towns and villages and on the edges of The Sea of Galilee. The Deliverance of a man with thousands of demons, the woman who’d been sick for 12 years, the bringing back to life a girl who had died.

But then almost like a Train Hitting the Buffers at Land’s End in Cornwall: It all comes to a CRASHING HALT: Where? In a foreign town? NO! In a Roman Official’s home? No! Amongst the foreigners? No! Where? In Jesus’ Home Town.

He was in town accompanied by his disciples. 

One of the things that should have convinced his home town of Jesus’ status should have been the great entourage that accompanied him now.

Jesus Return Home: It’s like a Great General Returning from a Campaign: But instead of a Triumphant Rally, Jesus doesn’t even get a little party.

  • What does Jesus do? On the Holy Day: Sabbath: Jesus goes, like a good Jew would, to the Synagogue.
  • What does Jesus do in the Synagogue? “He began to teach”
  • What’s the initial response? “Amazement”...

Amazement: Is the feeling that accompanies something extremely surprising. Another word could be ‘Astonishment’. (It’s surprise, stupefacation, admiration, wonder, wonderment). Modern words: Impressed.

Listen to their Questions: they asked;

  • “Where did this man get these things?”
  •  “What’s this wisdom that has been given him?
  •  “He even does miracles!”

Jesus teaching is backed-up by the Miracles and Signs and Wonders He performed: Initial response: Amazement.

How would you feel if Jesus was here right now, teaching you the Secrets of God’s Kingdom?

You’d probably AWESTRUCK right?

You’re mouth would fall open and you’d gaze in wonder and amazement.

A modern word for that is WOW or WOWzer! Jesus is AWESOME.

What would be your response?

However, before you answer that question, let’s look at how they responded.

NOTE: 2) The Unreasonable Unbelief of Jesus Townsfolk and Family Members.

They are initially amazed and awestruck, they knew about the Miracles, but what a SHOCKING and SADDENING result for Jesus.

Listen to the next set of Questions: They KNOW all about Jesus of Nazareth.

  • Isn’t this the carpenter?
  • Isn’t this Mary’s son?
  • Isn’t Jesus the brother of James, Joseph, Judas and Simon? Aren’t his sisters here with us?”

That’s right, they KNOW Jesus background. They KNOW where he comes from? They KNOW his family? They KNOW his trade / employment.

  • He’s a Carpenter: The Son of a Carpenter… “How could a mere Carpenter get so much wisdom, and miracles making power?” … “We know He hasn’t attended any Rabbinical School”… They are offended / scandalised by a mere Carpenter having the audacity to teach them.
  • He’s a Son: Of a woman we know all about. He’s just an ordinary man…
  • He’s got brothers and sisters amongst us here. (Mary obviously didn’t stay a Virgin after Jesus’ birth, she had other sons and daughters. Only Jesus was Mary’s Divine child).

NOTE: 3) WHY They Refused To Believe or Trust in Jesus:

They were amazed at his wisdom, they knew about the miracles, but the FOCUS instead upon His (human) Personality. Who He IS…

What was their response to Jesus teaching and their questioning and reasoning? “They Took OFFENCE at Him”...

Instead of being so impressed and filled with JOY, as they most certainly should have been, they are simply OFFENDED.

OFFENCE: Is a feeling of anger caused by an offence: i.e. Jesus was only a Carpenter, a Son and a brother, so why is He here ‘preaching and teaching’? Their offence was anger cause by who they thought Jesus was.

The Reason For Their Offence Was, “What right has this Son and Carpenter to TEACH us?” … “Who does He think He is?”… It’s a feeling of being appalled, aggrieved, bruised, outraged, pained, scandalised, violated and wounded… (A litle girl in our gathering yesterday stated “they may have been jealous of Jesus”… Jealously is a powerful emotion).

We don’t even know what it was that Jesus was teaching them in the Synagogue in Nazareth that day: Have you ever wanted to be a “fly-on-the-wall”? I’d love to know what it was they were so Scandalised and Offended about, but we don’t.

The most important thing for Mark (and the Holy Spirit) is that we know that in Jesus Home Town: Amongst Family and Townsfolk: They were offended by His PERSON more than his actual teaching in their Synagogue.

  • Their UNBELIEF is UNREASONABLE: Because of the EVIDENCE. (i.e. His wisdom, His Miracles) (No right thinking person when given the evidence they had received would deny Jesus or refuse to Honour Him). It’s just totally unreasonable.
  • Their UNBELIEF is  INEXCUSABLE: on account of all the evidence. They should have responded with open heart and hands and voices, but they didn’t instead they lacked faith in Jesus because they remained offended.

NOTE: 4) THEIR UNBELIEF IS COSTLY.

However, their Unbelief and Offence: has a terrible consequence for them.

A)  They Get a REBUKE from Jesus For Their Unbelief.

Jesus STATEMENT: “Only in his home town, among his relatives and in his own house is a prophet without honour.”

That’s not merely statement of fact: but of OPEN rebuke. i.e. Strangers welcomed and honoured Jesus. Complete Strangers showed Him respect. Complete Strangers listened and responded to His teaching, but His town’s folk and even some of Jesus’ own family: were offended and without faith. They remained in STUBBORN UNBELIEF.

When there’s so much EVIDENCE: That kind of UNBELIEF is a Sin.

GRAVITY: It’s like saying, “I know that Newton Defined The Law of Gravity, but even though I can see an Apple falling from a tree, and every time I drop a cup it falls to the floor and smashed to pieces, I don’t believe in GRAVITY”… How foolish.

I remember an old Government Health and Safety Advert: About the Dangers we face a work:

“Sir Isaac Newton tells us why, an apple falls down from the sky,
and from this fact it’s very plane, all other objects do the same,
A brick, a boot, a bar, a cup, invariably it falls down; NOT up.
And every other working tool, is governed by the self-same rule.
So when you handle tools up there, let your watchword be; take care.”

The Evidence for who Jesus was, and backing up what He was saying and teaching was all around them: Yet even members of his own family and many in his home town remained in stubborn UNBELIEF…

You might be surprised by that, I am and So was our Lord Jesus Christ. Look at verse 6 of our reading today; “He was amazed at their lack of faith”… Their Unbelief is unreasonable, inexcusable, brings a rebuke, but note what happens next…

B) Jesus Wasn’t Able to Perform ANY Miracles.

Except heal only a few people. Surely healing a few people is miraculous, but what the text is telling us is that Jesus was hindered by their UNBELIEF and lack of faith.

C) thirdly, Jesus MOVES ON because of Their Unbelief:

What happened as a result of their Unbelief? “Jesus moves on from town to town teaching”… He moved away from His Home Town: Nazareth. He leaves behind his own family, neighbours who’d known him all his life, and goes to other towns in the area, to strangers rather than friends and family. What a dreadful shame.

My friends, there’s a STARK WARNING for us here today.

If we’ve been CONVINCED: that Jesus is who He claims to be “The Divine Son of God”, The King of the Jews, The King of a KINGDOM not of this Earth, The Expected One. If we believe that He could and did perform wonderful miracles. That He had amazing insightful and wise teachings, but refuse to put our FAITH in Him, then we’re just the same as His own family members and townsfolk of Nazareth.

Their UNBELIEF: Was both UNREASONABLE and INEXCUSABLE and thirdly, very COSTLY: If we’ve become convinced of Jesus, then we’re just the same; If we remain in STUBBORN UNBELIEF.

NOTE: 5) What’s A RIGHT RESPONSE TO JESUS?

Faith IS confirmed by our RESPONSE: How are we TRUSTING in Jesus today? (Not what we’ve done in the PAST).

It’s not so much about what we believe about Him. (As Nazareth did). But our HEART response to HIM.

It’s not about being impressed by Him. (As Nazareth was). But receiving HIM by FAITH.

Those people were impressed, but they REFUSED to Honour Him and Accept Him.

Remember what the Apostle John recorded in John Chapter One: ”

John 1:10-18 (NIV)
10  He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognise him. (Even the one’s who knew him best, his home town, didn’t not receive him).
11  He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. (or believe him or trust in him or honour him).
12  Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God—
13  children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.
14  The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.
15  John testifies concerning him. He cries out, saying, “This was he of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me has surpassed me because he was before me.’ “
16  From the fulness of his grace we have all received one blessing after another.
17  For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.
18  No-one has ever seen God, but God the One and Only, who is at the Father’s side, has made him known.

Jesus was the ONE: The ONLY ONE, to ever make God Knowable: How? Because He was God.

“If you’ve seen me Philip, you’ve seen the Father”… John 14.

Today is the DAY Of SALVATION: 

Before Jesus moves on from you, to go to another soul and begin to work on them some miracles, to convince them with His teaching, will you OPEN your heart, mind, soul and life to Jesus today?

Will you RESPOND by Accepting or Rejecting Jesus?

Reason It Out: (It’s NOT a blind-leap-of-faith). Look at Jesus teachings. Look at the Miracles recorded. Listen to the Testimony of Believers today. Examine all the Evidence in History from the time of Jesus. All that EVIDENCE is still with us. Enough to CONVINCE the most sincere or sceptical seeker today.

LOOK AT CREATION: The Bible tells us that in itself us enough EVIDENCE in CREATION for the EXISTENCE of God.

Stubborn Unbelief will BE COSTLY: Not just in this life, but in the life to come after death.

Romans 1:20 (NIV) “For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.”

CREATION ITSELF IS ENOUGH EVIDENCE.

Because if we CHOOSE NOT TO BELIEVE: On account of all the evidence we have been given. Jesus might just move on from trying by His Spirit to convince us… “He moved on from town to town teaching”

If we reject Him NOW: We will be rejected in ETERNITY.

Respond: Put you faith and trust in Jesus Christ today. Why? Because TODAY is the DAY Of SALVATION.

Don’t be like His own townsfolk and family; trust, believe and receive Jesus NOW.

For those who’ve never done that before or for those who’ve done it in the past but wandered away from Jesus.

I’m going to GIVE The A, B, C of Coming to faith in Jesus.

The Gospel: We want all our fellowship to know and be able to share the Good News.

  1. A) Accept: That you are a sinner, who needs God’s forgiveness. Without that forgiveness we’ll face God on Judgement day, carrying the weight of our own sins.
  2. B) Believe: Believe that Jesus Christ died upon the Cross for your sins. That He is the Son of God. That He is who He claimed to be GOD. That He died, but rose again and is alive now. You can know Him.
  3. C) Receive: ByREPENT & TRUST: We may accept we’re sinners, believe that Jesus died for those sins, but until we receive Him by Faith, we’re still just like those Townsfolk in Nazareth, Impressed, but still without TRUSTING FAITH. Receive Jesus by an act of faith. Repent and Trust in Him alone and God will grant you the gift of Eternal life, forgiveness of sins, cleansing from sin, New Life in Christ and Gifts of the Holy Spirit indwelling and renewal and power to life a good and holy and abundant life, useful and gifted for God’s service for evermore.

Repentance: Is a change of mind (Greek Word: Metanoia)  regarding our way of living: There must be an element of sorrow / regret for the way we’ve been living in rebellion towards God. Then when we’re broken and convicted it leads us to the decision / desire to want to live our lives in ways that a pleasing to God. True repentance therefore will lead to a change in the way that we live our lives.

Trust in Jesus: It like putting on a life-jacket when you jump from a sinking ship. or a Parachute from a Plane that falling from the sky. Without the life-saver or parachute, your demise is certain. Put ON THE LORD JESUS CHRIST: AND YOU WILL BE SAVED. Without Jesus Christ we’re doomed to face a holy and righteous God, who’s justly angered by our sinful rebellion and will give us His justice on Judgement Day. Those who’ve not trusted in Jesus Christ (Put on the Lord Jesus to be clothed in His righteousness), will be thrown into the lake of fire with the devil and all demons.

BUT: God’s doesn’t want that, that’s why He sent his beloved Son to die upon the Cross, to take our punishment and save us from God’s wrath and judgement to come. That’s why it’s so important to have a right FEAR of God.

Finally: You may have similar responses from those who know you every well, when you give your life to Jesus and are transformed by Him. Your own family, townsfolk and friends might be initially surprised and then be offended by what’s happened to you, but when you begin to share the Good News with them, they may begin to say similar things to what they did about Jesus when He visited His home town.

(who does he / she think they are, they’re no different to me, they are just as sinful as I am, etc)… However, if it happened to Jesus, it can happen to us too. Don’t give up! Don’t stop following Jesus just because family, friends and neighbours don’t like it or won’t respond.

Remember how stubborn you were before you finally came to trust in Jesus Christ. I’ll bet that you didn’t trust in Him the first time you heard the Gospel. He had to draw you to Himself. He had to win your faith and trust in Himself. If it takes time with a stubborn person like yourself, then give those you love time to adjust to the claims of Jesus Christ. Coming to faith is often painful for people, because pride has to die first.

Don’t BE TEMPTED: (as much of our modern church has been) to water-down the hard parts of the Good News. Repentance is critical to true conversion. Without repentance from sin, we cannot be saved. A Satan-Blinded Sinner must see his / her sins for what they are; offensive to God, before they’ll see their need to let go of that way of living. Freely share God’s holy and righteous standards revealed in His Commandments, because you have an ally in the person with whom you are sharing, who’ll keep talking to them long after you’ve gone home to bed: it’s their own CONSCIENCE. Once you share the holy standards of God, the Conscience can be re-awakened and will begin to do it’s work. CONVICTION by God’s Holy Spirit will pull the sinner to his or her knees. It’s NOT all up to you, God wants them saved much more than you do.

Preach to them more than once, because their eternal souls are more valuable that your upset feelings or fear of further rejection. Our LOVE for them should compel us to give them as much GRACE as God has given to us.

So don’t give up, because God didn’t give up on you.

Don’t be put-off by an initial hostile response. Persevere, sometimes people will get angry when you share Jesus. I’ve had that many times, but after responding in gentle ways, their initial anger subsides and they begin to open us to receiving the Good News. Anger is just one of Satan’s ways of trying to scare you into stopping short, giving up and going home.

So don’t give-up on them, don’t give-in to fear, don’t water-down, don’t be afraid of rejection, because Jesus followed His own advice to the man delivered from demons (Mark 5) who went home and told everybody the good news. The Demon Possessed man had a good response when he shared, Jesus had a hostile response (Mark 6), but the PRINCIPLE still stands, GO BACK HOME and share the Good NEWS. Share about all the good things God has done for you and how he has had mercy upon you by forgiving your sins, giving you a new life and the gift of faith and eternal life. Some might reject it, but others may just be ready to respond and put their own faith and trust in the Lord Jesus Christ. Amen!

A NOTE TO MYSELF: Remember how important it is to read the chapters before and after the one you are peaching upon, sometimes there are linked themes, i.e. The Going HOME of Mark 5 and Mark 6…

Have and AWESOME and AMAZING week with Jesus,

Don.

 

When Street Evangelism Brings Joy

Street Evangelism can sometimes be tough, but it's always full of joy

Daily Spirit & Word: 719: It’s NOT Always EASY.

When Sharing The Good News: Isn’t Received Like Good News.

But we spread the SALT and shine the LIGHT anyway.

And Return With Joy

Matthew 5:13-16 (NIV)
13 “You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled by men.
14  “You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden.
15  Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house.
16  In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.

Good morning my friends, I love to tell you that our Street Evangelism last night was easy, that we saw lots of people coming to Jesus, that everyone we talked with welcomed our message, but it wasn’t like that last night. No, it was tough with a capital ‘T’…

However, it was amazing, it’s like the LORD Jesus has been preparing us for last night from the beginning, because many of the people we chatted with were opposed to the Message of Jesus Christ. We didn’t get into arguments, but we did debate. It was done with humility, great humour and sometimes seriousness.

We Encountered:

  • A man who made up his own version of Christianity, but wouldn’t read the Bible for fear of going mad.
  • A man who said he didn’t believe Jesus ever existed.
  • A man who said he worshipped the Devil.
  • A woman who told us to go away because she was bi-polar and was likely to explode in violence.
  • An Atheist who knew more about the Bible than most Priests we’ve bumped into. He answered every question in David’s Logic Test, He knew every one of the Commandments in order, but definitely was an open minded Atheist who was ready to debate his position.
  • A man and a woman who didn’t want ‘real’ sinners to get into Heaven.
  • And many more…

To say, “last night’s street witnessing was challenging”, would be an understatement.

However, we came back praising the Lord, because we’d planted the life transforming Gospel into the hearts of almost every one of those wonderful souls, apart from the bi-polar lady who just didn’t want to talk at all, we finished off with a great response to the Good News with an amazing lady and her colleague from Patty King.

I read a book a while ago with the title, “God Doesn’t Believe In Atheists” and the strap-line; “You can lead an Atheist to water, but you can make him think”… It’s a play on the old adage, “You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink”… How to make an Atheist back-slide into belief… 🙂

Well, we most certainly can make anyone think: A horse who refuses to drink water can be a bit awkward for the man who needs to have his cart pulled. In order for a horse to be any use it needs to take on water, lots of it. So you’d put SALT into His Oats. Once a horse gets a mouthful of tasty, salty oats, just watch him lapping up that cool clear water.

That’s what we can do with an Atheist as well, put some LIVING SALT (Gospel Words) into his mind, to make him think, to let his God given Conscience go and do it’s work in bringing conviction of sin, leading to repentance and trust in the only Saviour of mankind. Then once he’s come to Jesus, he’ll be lapping up the life giving water of life from the Holy Spirit and drinking in deeply from the eternal fountain. He’ll discover satisfaction for his eternal soul.

Remember Jesus told us to be SALT and LIGHT… God loves Atheists, unbelievers, Satanists, bi-polar, Jesus rejecting people just as much as the Saint who bends the knee to the Saviour.

God doesn’t want a single soul to perish in Hell; LOVE, that’s our motivation for going out and engaging those challenging folks.

God, by His Holy Spirit and the Gospel of His One and ONLY Son, Jesus Christ, is PULLING people from the flames licking at their feet. His desire is that none perish in hell, but everyone to come to repentance. In order for them to come to the point of repentance though, they need to know HOW they’ve offended God and what it is that’s keeping them out of Heaven. Because, most people, even ardent Atheists, want to go to Heaven, if it exists. To show people HOW they’ve offended God to such a degree that they’ll be banished from Heaven forever, it takes patience, lots of it, kindness in great measure, gentleness, joy, love, persuasion, reasoning, more love, humility, respect and boldness. We’re not selling a message, we’re not salesmen with a neat set of pat answers. Each person is an individual, with their own personal experiences, questions, thoughts and reasons for not even thinking about Jesus or eternity. The vast majority are heading for hell in blissful ignorance of their fate. No wonder Jesus said, “The fields are ripe unto harvest, but the labourers are few”. It’s NOT easy, but it is such a JOY to be able to bring some light into their darkness. To give a little HOPE in the midst of hopelessness.

Finishing With An Encouraging Encounter:

The face of the lady from Patty King who heard the Good News last night was a picture, because when I asked, “Does that make sense?” She said, “Yes it does?” She’d been arguing that God would just forgive people anyway, but she didn’t want “horrible people” like; murderers, rapists, child-molesters, etc, to go to Heaven. Her problem was that she thought she was good and really bad people were much worse than her. She was measuring her goodness with what she perceived as their badness, thinking she’d be acceptable to God.

Well after some banter and joking and shedding some light on the true condition of their souls, they still thought their sin wasn’t as bad as others.

I said, “Think about it like this, telling lies is a sin right?” She nodded, “A single lie will keep us out of heaven, because it contaminates us” She didn’t think lying was such a bad sin as to keep a person out of heaven. So I explained, “You work in Patty King, imagine taking a delivery of chicken and one of the batch is smelling rotten, would you put that in the fridge beside the good pieces of chicken?” She said, “No, I’d throw it out”… I explained “that’s what God will do with any soul coming to Him, desiring to get into Heaven, if they’ve been contaminated with any sin; lying, stealing, lust (adultery) hatred (murder), etc”..  “He cannot let them in, because they’d contaminate His holy heaven”… Once she got it, she was open to hearing what God has done so that none should perish in Hell. So when I asked that question, “Dos that make sense?” The nod of her head was a wonderful picture. She said, “Yes it does”.

Tomorrow: We’ll be thinking about; Getting Ready For Pentecost. The Coming of The Holy Spirit.

Today: Always be prepared to give a reason for the HOPE that is in you.

Be filled with God’s LOVE for everyone, do good and share the Good News.

Remember to stay close to Jesus (John 15) and Be filled afresh with God The Holy Spirit, and Praise your Heavenly Father in worship and song.

Don.

 

How To SAVE The World

Good Works and Gospel Proclamation

Daily Spirit & Word: 718: How To SAVE The World?

Let Your Light Shine & Proclaim The Gospel.

Good morning my friends, Way back in 2014, I did some teaching on the Tabernacle and the Lampstand (DS&W:187: Let Your Light Shine). Today, I’m adding a little more light upon that teaching.

Jesus wants your light to shine, first before Him, but then BEFORE MEN. I’ve been sharing how when Christians are in the world, with people who don’t know Jesus as Lord yet, they are taking those people to CHURCH. Not the Church building, but because they are the Church, the Holy Spirit is in them. Well my friends Jesus wants you to let His Holy Light SHINE so that they can see God is real, alive and to bring them to the point of conversion so they will be able to glorify the LORD too.

Matthew 5:14-16 (NIV)
14  “You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden.
15  Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house.
16  In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.

YOU ARE THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD:

My friends, Christians were never meant to be hiding their light in a ‘church building’. We have always been commanded by our Lord Jesus to GO! Go into the WORLD: We’re meant to be both SALT and LIGHT to the people of the world who don’t yet know Jesus as Lord. However, we’ve been contented to SHINE our little light only in church gatherings. How on earth are the people of the world going to get saved if we’re hiding our light in church buildings? “You don’t light a lamp and put it under a bowl” My friends, Jesus didn’t set you on fire to hide that light, so GO. Go into your world today and LET THE LIGHT SHINE…

YBH: Yes but HOW? 

Verse 16 gives us the answer: “let your light so shine before men (people of the world), that they may see you GOOD DEEDS and PRAISE your Father in Heaven”… Awesome! So by just doing GOOD DEEDS people will see the light and come to the point of praising Father God.

Of course it’s not as simple as that, it never is. We’re also to “Give a reason for the hope that is in us”…

1 Peter 3:15 (NIV) “But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect,…”

How can they be SAVED unless someone preaches / shares the Good News with them?

Romans 10:14 (NIV)
14  How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them?

My friends, there will be many a soul in Hell, who saw your good deeds and thought, “Mary is a really good and nice lady, but I never knew why, I wish she’d told me about Jesus and how I could be saved.”… We’re not to shine our light so that people will see how good we are, we’re to shine that light in such a way that people will KNOW how good God is. So that they will begin to Praise our Father in Heaven, not us.

It has always meant to be Good Works: Kindness, goodness, faithfulness, love, joy, peace, patience, gentleness and self-control, but accompanied with and by the GOOD NEWS: How Jesus took us and cleaned us up, forgave us our sins and rescued us from sin, Satan and Hell. How Jesus has commanded all men everywhere to repent and believe the Good News.

Good Works Accompanied By Good News

So often the ‘church’ has made the mistake of being one or the other: All Good Works or All Good News, but Jesus / God’s intention was that it was always, always meant to be BOTH.

That is HOW we’re to let our light shine: Good WORKS and Gospel Good News.

Remember again how Jesus sent the Demoniac back to his own OIKOS: That word ‘family’ below in the original Greek is OIKOS, it was not limited to just family, but to everyone who knew the man well, his friends, neighbours, those he worked with or for, everyone who knew all about him, that’s what OIKOS means.

Mark 5:18-20 (NIV)
18  As Jesus was getting into the boat, the man who had been demon-possessed begged to go with him.
19  Jesus did not let him, but said, “Go home to your family (OIKOS) and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how he has had mercy on you.”
20  So the man went away and began to tell in the Decapolis how much Jesus had done for him. And all the people were amazed.

Just like that Demon Delivered Man, many of our contemporary Christian brothers and sisters want to STAY with Jesus in the boat of the church buildings. It’s so tempting, comfortable and nice to be just worshipping, praying, praising, but Jesus is still the same, He’s sending US out into the world to shine the light and share the good news. He’s still commanding you and me to go and let your light shine before men, so they will in turn PRAISE your Father in Heaven. This is a REVELATION to many of you I know. Jesus commanded His Disciples to GO into all the world and spread the Good News and make more disciples.

The Delivered Man most certainly did “Let his light shine before men”… Not just in his home town but the whole area. My friends, if you’ve been set free by Jesus, if you’ve been set alight, on fire, ablaze, with His Holy Spirit, then you will be a shining light, people will see your good deeds, but let them know WHY? Why are you such a good person? Why are you doing so much good in the world today? It’s because of your SAVIOUR Jesus Christ and how He’s had mercy upon you. Let them know why and that Jesus wants to SAVE them too with the Good News.

Keep your LIGHT Shining, be continually full of the Holy Spirit my friends, because the most important part of a Christian’s life is the part that only the LORD God Almighty sees. Be filled afresh with the anointing oil of the presence and power of the Holy Spirit today and you’ll be shining for Jesus Christ bringing Him glory by the good things that you do and the way you are sharing the Good News of the Saviour. God’s got so much good planed for you today. Enjoy the day in His mighty power.

You might not SAVE THE WORLD or the whole world, but you’ll be letting Christ’s light shine on your own little part of God’s World. Let it shine! If the whole church is doing that, perhaps we can SAVE many thousands and millions of souls for Him. Amen!

Prayer: I’m praying today for the whole Christian Church in the world. That we’ll all see Christ’s Command to Go OUT, the teaching in the light of all the Scriptures is His desire is that “EVERYONE” comes to repentance, let us not be the ones who’ve failed You LORD by simply worshipping, praying and praising You, when we know we should have been shining Your light and sharing the Good News in the world before men. O Lord Jesus we know You didn’t save the church to hide the light in a building, but to shine Your light in the world. O LORD! The harvest is plentiful and the labourers are few, send out Your Labourers into the Harvest Field of this world. Lord we want to see so many people that we know a love saved, please Lord, let them see the light and respond to the Gospel. Father, watch over Your chosen people and remind us often that we’re to do good works and speak out the Gospel with words too. Amen!

Don.

P.S. HOLY SPIRIT: Someone asked me the other day; “Don, you keep saying be filled with the Holy Spirit, I get that, but can you please tell me how to do it?”

That HOW is so important:

Oh my friends, God’s longing to give you the Holy Spirit, we just need to claim what He longs to give us.

First, we must be certain that we’re SAVED: I say this, because from experience many people have simply come to ‘Church’ thinking they are saved by being a worshipper every week and doing the things that the ‘real’ saints in Christ do. We’re not a Bus simply because we sleep in a bus-garage every night. Neither are we Christians just because we attend church regularly. Many people want the Holy Spirit, but don’t want to submit their lives to Jesus Christ as LORD.

So please my friends, first  CHECK (Examine so as to determine accuracy, quality, or condition): you are in the Family of God: Have you genuinely;

  1. A) BELIEVED and TRUSTED in Christ’s DEATH upon the Cross for your sins?
  2. B) Have you REPENTED, which means letting go of all sin and begun to walk in His ways?
  3. C) and finally have you actually RECEIVED Jesus Christ as Lord?:

(If you are not sure you have, read the full Gospel CLICK Here and discover why you NEED Jesus as your Saviour).

That’s what the Bible calls full salvation. Once you’ve trusted in Jesus like that, then you’ll be born again of God’s Holy Spirit. You will be filled with Holy Spirit, but we need to keep being filled. In order to be re-filled: All we do need to ASK to be filled. God will not give you anything extra unless you ask Him for it. Here’s how to begin: Pray: “O Heavenly Father, please send the Holy Spirit into my life and fill me up as much as I need, fill me until I overflow with His presence and power. In the name of my Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ I ask You my Heavenly Father. Amen” Your Heavenly Father longs to fill you my friend. Receive the Holy Spirit in faith and watch what He does in and through you throughout the day. Keep a journal and make notes of your prayers and petitions and your encounters throughout the day. You’ll be amazed what God will do in and through you. He’s longing to get you all fired up today. So many believers believe that being filled is automatic or a ONCE OFF event, but the LORD wants to give us so much, but so few seek and ask for what He longs to give.

P.P.S. PLEASE PRAY FOR Anya. We met Anya whilst out sharing the Good News on the Streets in West Norwood, and she promised to come to church, which she did for the first time on Easter Sunday, then she came again two days ago on Sunday. Yesterday (Monday), as I was on my way to the Prayer Meeting, I met Anya who’d bumped into my wife, she was crying, as was my wife, Anya’s baby boy Alexander had died in Hospital that morning whilst undergoing a routine scan. Oh my friends, I can’t tell you the shock. I just embraced Anya. My wife and I prayed for her and continued to comfort her for a while. It’s amazing the PEACE the Lord has given to Anya, but it’s still very raw indeed. What amazing timing the LORD has, but we’re going to keep on praying He’ll bring Anya and her husband and extended family closer to Himself. Please also pray for us, the Christian Community and Family of the Lord in St Luke’s, that we can pour out His grace and love towards Anya. Amen.

 

Similar Topics:

Sharing is Caring: Why we shouldn’t hide our light.

The Light Shines in the Darkness: The people walking in Darkness have seen a great light.

Be Active In Sharing Your Faith: What happens in the saint who shares the Good News…

YOU Are the Church: How Christians have always been called to go and be the ‘church’ in the world. OIKOS.

 

 

You were made to last forever, eternity.

God doesn't believe in Athiests, Eternity in your heart, life after death,

Daily Spirit & Word. 715: Immortality. Eternity.

God Made YOU to Last Forever.

Why did God send a flood to destroy all human beings on the Earth?

“If you were to destroy the belief in immortality in mankind, not only love but every living force on which the continuation of all life in the world depended, would dry up at once.” Fyodor Dostoevsky.

Good morning my friends, I’ve been thinking. Tonight we’re going out to share the Gospel with folks on the streets and one of the most common beliefs today is; “This life is all there is”… You know something, I think good old Fyodor has a point. Many people today will proudly proclaim, “I don’t believe in life after death or Heaven or Hell”… They think this life is all there is, there’s nothing after death, you just cease to exist.

However, we can quite clearly see that those who do believe such things, get depressed, commit suicide, have no hope and give up on life. Why? Because if there is no afterlife, then there’s no real point to continuing your existence upon this earth. Love and life itself is just some kind of illusion.

Thankfully it is quite easy to correct this false and foolish thinking.

Ecclesiastes 3:9-13 (NIV)
9  What does the worker gain from his toil?
10  I have seen the burden God has laid on men.
11  He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end.
12  I know that there is nothing better for men than to be happy and do good while they live.
13  That everyone may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all his toil—this is the gift of God.

God “has set eternity in the hearts of men”: That means everyone knows deep-down in the core of their being that this life is not all there is. We may deny this eternal truth, we may pretend, we may protest, we can argue, but the fact remains that God has Created mankind with a deep knowledge that ETERNITY, life after death, the soul goes on forever.

However, there are good reasons for denying the immortality of the soul. Because if we don’t believe in afterlife then we can just live as we please now, there’s no one or nothing to whom we must give an account of the way we live, and that’s what we’re seeing in the world today. If there is no afterlife, then this life is all that counts and you’ve got to enjoy it as much as possible. People call this kind of thinking “Enlightened” or “The enlightenment”, but in reality is a darkening, a drawing deeper and deeper into the deepest darkness. Without God there is only darkness and oblivion. When people do what they want, they’ll throw off all moral restraints. Not only that, but they want and expect everybody else to do the same as well.

Ephesians 4:17-19 (NIV)
17  So I tell you this, and insist on it in the Lord, that you must no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their thinking. 18  They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts. 19  Having lost all sensitivity, they have given themselves over to sensuality so as to indulge in every kind of impurity, with a continual lust for more.

My friends, this kind of thinking is not new or enlightened: People have been doing this since the time of Creation, but when they did, they brought swift judgement from Heaven upon their heads. This kind of thinking and way of living is what brought the first flood upon the Earth.

Genesis 6:5-6 (NIV)
5  The LORD saw how great man’s wickedness on the earth had become, and that every inclination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil all the time. 6  The LORD was grieved that he had made man on the earth, and his heart was filled with pain.

Genesis 6:5-8 (NJB)
5  Yahweh saw that human wickedness was great on earth and that human hearts contrived nothing but wicked schemes all day long.
6  Yahweh regretted having made human beings on earth and was grieved at heart.
7  And Yahweh said, ‘I shall rid the surface of the earth of the human beings whom I created—human and animal, the creeping things and the birds of heaven—for I regret having made them.’
8  But Noah won Yahweh’s favour.

God’s heart was “filled with pain”, He was “grieved at heart”. It hurts God’s feelings when those He created deny Him or their high calling. When we live like we want and pretend there’s no one to whom we must give an account. That’s why the Lord brought the flood upon the Earth and it’s why He’s going to eventually destroy His Creation and start all over again (one day).

You see my friends, God does not believe in Atheists, He knows they are simply living in denial.

Dictionary Meaning of “Immortality”:

  • 1) The quality or state of being immortal.
  • 2) Perpetual life after death.

Synonyms: Afterlife, Hereafter, Permanence, Permanency,

Antonyms: Mortality (Mortal).

You were made to last forever.
But like those batteries that eventually loose their power, so we too will one day, run out of life. But that’s not the END, your eternal soul will live on and on for all eternity. If you were to die tonight, where would you be spending that Eternity?

Though mankind is not now immortal, because of Adam and Eve’s decision to disobey God’s Command, we’re all infected with the same sin disease and cannot live forever, which was God’s original intent for human beings. However, there is part of our human nature that will live forever and that is our Soul, it goes on beyond the grave. Though our flesh and bones will die and decay, the soul is the part of us that lives forever.

We need to make everyone aware of the fact that they are going to have to face God after they die.

Hebrews 9:27 (NIV) “Just as man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgement, …”

“After That” i.e. After death, we come face-to-face with the Living God. He’s going to bring out our records: What we’ve done and what we’ve thought and Judge us.

God sees our inmost thoughts: (Psalm 139)

Psalm 139:1-16 (NIV) For the director of music. Of David. A psalm.
1  O LORD, you have searched me and you know me.
2  You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar.
3  You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways.
4  Before a word is on my tongue you know it completely, O LORD.
5  You hem me in—behind and before; you have laid your hand upon me.
6  Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain.
7  Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence?
8  If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
9  If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea,
10  even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast.
11  If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me and the light become night around me,”
12  even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you.
13  For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14  I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.
15  My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth,
16  your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.

During the 2012 Olympic Games in London, there were areas in Cities all over the UK you could go and watch them as they happened on BIG Screens. In shopping areas and town squares town Councils had erected huge screens. Imagine having your life showing on a screen like that for everyone to see. But what could be worse than that? Can you imagine what it would be like to have your thought-life on display for everyone to see, right now? Embarrassing or what? Your thoughts about people on display for everyone to know what you’ve been thinking about them. Well one day it will be, unless you repent and have your records washed / erased away.

When you repent and trust in Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour: All your sins are washed away. You are given a brand new start in life. This is why it’s so good to come to Jesus. You can actually feel clean on the inside when Jesus washes your sins away. It’s as if you’ve never sinned. But from the moment you are washed clean, Jesus wants you to live a New Life in His Spirit. A holy life is possible when you come to Jesus every day and received the fullness of the Holy Spirit. We need Jesus every day.

Praise the Lord for the Eternity He’s planted within your heart.

When we compare our life to eternity we can see why the Lord has given us His Word: The Word “BIBLE” = Basic, Instruction, Before, Leaving, Earth… There is life after death, but what kind of life can we expect? With Jesus as our Lord NOW, we’re promised wonders we couldn’t even dream about.

I’ll finish off today with one of the most wonderful promises in God’s Word:

 “However, as it is written: “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him” 1 Corinthians 2:9 (NIV)

Have a wonderful day with the Lord Jesus,

Don.

P.S. If you are free tonight and around West Norwood in London, you are welcome to come and join us as we go out to share the Gospel with those who don’t yet know Jesus Christ as Lord. We’re meeting at 5.00pm at St Luke’s Church, West Norwood, London. If you can’t come, please commit to praying for us and for those whom we meet, that they’ll come to know Jesus as Lord. Amen!

Ecclesiastes 3:11  He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end.

ETERNITY