People say, “God’s Not Fair”

God is Good Always

Daily Spirit & Word: 785: “God’s Not Fair”

That’s what some people say, “God’s not just or fair”

Good morning my friends, you’ve probably all heard non-Christians and atheists say, “How can there be a God when there is so much evil, hatred and injustice in this world?” It’s like they are judging God and therefore reason that they don’t need to bother believing in him.

In our verse today, you’ll note that it was a constant complaint of the Israelites about their own God. “God is not fair”

Listen in to what God is saying in response to them:

Ezekiel 18:25-29 (NKJV)
25  “Yet you say, ‘The way of the Lord is not fair.’ Hear now, O house of Israel, is it not My way which is fair, and your ways which are not fair?
26  When a righteous man turns away from his righteousness, commits iniquity, and dies in it, it is because of the iniquity which he has done that he dies.
27  Again, when a wicked man turns away from the wickedness which he committed, and does what is lawful and right, he preserves himself alive.
28  Because he considers and turns away from all the transgressions which he committed, he shall surely live; he shall not die.
29  Yet the house of Israel says, ‘The way of the Lord is not fair.’ O house of Israel, is it not My ways which are fair, and your ways which are not fair?

In the Hebrew in which the Old Testament was written, the actual word for “fair” used in these verses was “unequal” referring to the unequal scales. Scales were used to measure grain and they were balance scales, when they were balanced a trade was fair and sealed, it’s done because we can see the scales are balanced, but what they are accusing God of is using unbalanced or unequal scales.

However, the LORD turns their argument on it’s head and accuses / complains back to the Israelites:

“It’s YOU who are not fair” or “It’s YOU Israelites who are using unbalanced / unequal scales”.

Both God and Israel are complaining in our passage.

The People said, “The way of the Lord is not fair”…

God responds, “Your ways are not fair”…

Who’s right?

This verse is repeated three more times in Ezekiel. It is basically God answering Israel’s complaints and setting the record straight.

Complaint about God. “Yet you say, The way of the Lord is not fair.”

First, it accuses God of being unfair. So the people here are accusing God of being unfair to man, of being unfaithful, untruthful, unjust towards them.

Yet when we look at God’s answer: You’ll note it’s because of the wickedness the Israelites have committed they are suffering.

Do not blame God for all the evil in this world; it is not God’s fault.

Think about Syria, the bombing and destruction, and all those poor people suffering; but when they showed a Christian Minister on the News last night, his church was blown to bit, dust and rubble. Most of the Christians had either been killed or had fled Syria. He remained in the land, but he was not screaming at God or accusing God. All he talked about was PEACE. Christians, Jews and Muslims seemed to get along in Syria for many generations, but now, they are killing the Christians and the Jews, they’ve been driven from the land of Syria or they have been murdered and now the Muslims are bombing each other.

Who’s to blame? It’s NOT GOD!

Sometimes, we do the same things as the Israelites: We may not say it out loud, but we might say it in our attitude or in the ways we serve the Lord.

For example: We know God wants us to live a certain way. We pray and ask God for something. He doesn’t respond as quickly as we’d want Him to. So we drag our feet in our Christian service. We become slack in our worship, praise and adoration of God. Just because He’s not doing things the way we want Him to.

We want God to bless our ways, but He wants us to serve Him always.

Also we cry out to God to bestow financial blessings in our lives, while we are tight and stingy when the offering plate is passed in our gatherings.

One of the ways the LORD has decided to test us is in the way we GIVE: It’s also one of the ways that we can and are encouraged by God to TEST HIM…

My friends, if we are FAIR in the ways we serve the LORD, He will OPEN up Heaven into our lives.

It’s NOT God’s WAYS that are unfair, unjust or unbalanced, but our own.

God doesn’t hate us, He loves us so much, and wants to bless our lives, but; death, destruction, cheating and craftiness are man’s ways; so mankind reaps what he sows.

God Speaking: “Yet the house of Israel says, ‘The way of the Lord is not fair.’ O house of Israel, is it not My ways which are fair, and your ways which are not fair?”

Let’s determine in our heart today, to be the people God wants us to be.

  • He’s revealed in the Bible: “Love your neighbour as yourself”
  • He’s also revealed: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind, soul and strength”…
  • When God looks at your life today, will He see you being fair or unjust? Will He see you being; loving, kind, generous, faithful, gentle, good and self-controlled?

From yesterday’s teaching, we know that these things are the FRUIT of the Holy Spirit in our lives. If you are struggling in any of these areas, then God’s got some resourses He’s longing to pour into your life today: The fruit and gifts of the Holy Spirit.

I’m praying for all my friends today that God will richly bless you in every way.

I’m also praying you’ll be the joy filled servants of the LORD! That You’ll KNOW God is ALWAYS FAIR.

Psalm 145:17-19 (NIV)
17  The LORD is righteous in all his ways and loving towards all he has made.
18  The LORD is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth.
19  He fulfils the desires of those who fear him; he hears their cry and saves them.

God is ONLY A PRAYER AWAY!

Amen!

Don.

God’s All Consuming Fire

Elijah and the Prophets of Baal, the fire fell

Daily Spirit & Word: 730: The Fire of The Lord.

Our God is an ALL CONSUMING FIRE.

 

Good morning my friends, today we’ve got the funeral of a little baby boy called Alexander. He’s the son of Anja and Ledeaux. It’s such a horrific, shocking and sad thing, but I’m so glad that the LORD has revealed Himself to me and that I serve the Living God. Because without Him I’d be totally useless and powerless. Our God is rich in mercy, grace, kindness and love. God is GOOD all the time: Even when tragedy strikes.

1 Kings 18:38-39 (NIV)
38  Then the fire of the LORD fell and burned up the sacrifice, the wood, the stones and the soil, and also licked up the water in the trench.
39  When all the people saw this, they fell prostrate and cried, “The LORD—he is God! The LORD—he is God!”
God’s Prophet Elijah had a contest with the prophets of Baal, it resulted in a great victory for The One True God over the false god Baal. Today God’s Word speaks to us about the fire that ended the contest between Elijah and Baal’s prophets.

But we must remember some things about Elijah, God and False gods:

A) What Prompted The Fire?

Notice first the “Then.” at the beginning of our first verse today. You don’t want to miss this my friends. The fire came after some real devout, heartfelt, sincere and solemn praying by Elijah. Sometimes we lack the fire of God in our own walk with Jesus and in our congregations because we neglect this kind of prayer before the LORD. It seems that many of us are more interested in position, place and promoting our church and our ministry that we are in the consuming earnest and sincere close relationship with the One who gave us it all. As a result of this neglect (Puting God first in all things) we’ve lost the FIRE of God in our lives. Elijah knew how to respond to those jeering jibes of the pesky prophets of Baal. Prompted by the Holy Spirit, he called for a contest to see which God is the true God. Can you imagine a Christian follower of Jesus asking some devotees of other faiths to a prayer meeting to see who’s God is real? What prompted God’s fire to fall was His relationship with Elijah.

B) What Power There Is In The Fire:

Notice secondly how the POWER of God in the fire CONSUMED. “Then the fire of the LORD fell and burned up the sacrifice, the wood, the stones and the soil, and also licked up the water in the trench.” Oh my friends, the fire that burned like this is not an ordinary or normal fire that you get when you burn wood.

 

It’s akin to the fireball you get in a nuclear explosion, but it fell on Elijah’s little bundle of wet wood and animal sacrifice.  It was the FIRE of God and it burned-up EVERYTHING: the sacrifice, the wood under the sacrifice, the stones of the altar, the soil around the altar and even the water which Elijah had put in trenches around the altar. It reminds me today that God’s POWER is the SAME POWER that Created the whole UNIVERSE. It’s the power of God that can do amazing, awe-inspiring, jaw-dropping wonders.

 

I think that we all need this power within us today if we are going to do anything worthwhile for God. That same POWER that Jesus and Elijah had within them is AVAILABLE to us, if we just get closer to the Creator. Jesus spent all night in prayer at times, Elijah prayed and the fire fell. The Disciples were in an upper room praying when the tongues of fire fell upon them (Acts 2). I don’t know about you, but I want that FIRE to fall upon me, we don’t need a Sacrifice like Elijah did, because Jesus is our Sacrificial Lamb of God, but we do need the prayer, when we pray as Elijah did, as Jesus did and as the Disciples did, the FIRE will fall upon us too.

C) What More Proof Do We Need?

There was evidence in the fire of God “Then the fire of the Lord fell, and burned up…”

Remember this was a CONTEST: between Elijah’s God and the Prophets of Baal. Elijah said “The God that answered by fire would be the true God.” However, because Baal is not a god at all, he could not answer with fire, but  Elijah’s God could because there is NO OTHER God.

Imagine having such a contest today? So many people are looking for this kind of evidence to believe in God today. “Let me win the Lottery, then I’ll believe in you”… “Show me yourself first, then I’ll believe in you” … Why doesn’t God just show Himself? If He did, then everyone will respond in the way they did in our second verse today: “When all the people saw this (the all consuming fire), they fell prostrate and cried, “The LORD—he is God! The LORD—he is God!”

We don’t get this PHYSICAL kind of evidence because God gives us something else: FAITH to BELIEVE. However, our FAITH is just as strong an evidence as the FIRE:

Many times God has given us such proof that Elijah’s fire and the Resurrected LORD gave:

Acts 1:3 (NIV) “After his suffering, he (Jesus) showed himself to these men and gave many convincing proofs that he was alive. He appeared to them over a period of forty days and spoke about the kingdom of God.”

Jesus gave convincing proofs: There’s PROOF or EVIDENCE enough for me and you today: We don’t NEED to see God to KNOW, the fire still comes when we exercise the gift of FAITH, then we’ll KNOW beyond a shadow of a doubt. What more PROOF do we need? Answer: NONE, because Jesus in me is ENOUGH evidence. But when we know Jesus and stay close to Jesus (John 15), then the FIRE can fall.

D) God’s Pity Is In That FIRE:

Notice that “The fire of the Lord fell, and burned up; the sacrifice . . . wood . . . stones . . . dust . . . water.”

Did you notice that THE FIRE of the LORD did not burn up the people? It was EVERYTHING but the PEOPLE.

This reminds me today of God’s AMAZING GRACE and MERCY: How He has had pity on mankind, not to BURN US, because He, God, could justifiably burn up those people back in Elijah’s day and all of us today. However, instead of the fire burning them it BURNED up everything but the people. Equally, God could easily BURN all of us, but in His richest grace and mercy He has spared us and let the fire of His wrath and anger against sin fall upon His One and Only Son.

Jesus took our punishment for us: He died so that we don’t need to face the final fiery furnace of God’s wrath and anger. Our God is an ALL CONSUMING FIRE, but He’s waiting patiently for the right number of people to REPENT, then His final FIRE will fall. (2 Peter 3).

2 Peter 3:3-9 (NIV) God’s Patience.
3  First of all, you must understand that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires.
4  They will say, “Where is this ‘coming’ he promised? Ever since our fathers died, everything goes on as it has since the beginning of creation.”
5  But they deliberately forget that long ago by God’s word the heavens existed and the earth was formed out of water and by water.
6  By these waters also the world of that time was deluged and destroyed.
7  By the same word the present heavens and earth are reserved for fire, being kept for the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men.
8  But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day.
9  The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.

Why wait, let’s fall on our faces and declare today as they did

“The LORD, He is God… The LORD, He is God”… Amen!

Don’t let his consuming fire fall on you, but the wonderful FIRE of the Holy Spirit.

Don.

 

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.

 

Getting Ready For Christmas: Advent.

Getting Ready For Christmas Advent

Daily Spirit & Word: 646:

Getting Ready For Christmas: Advent.

Avoiding The Ways Of The Wicked

Good morning my friends, as Christmas approaches again this year, how can we get ready so that we’ll have JOY when the day arrives and we continue to celebrate on Christmas Morning without regrets?

Thankfully the LORD has provided a way, for the meek to inherit the Earth.

Continuing with Psalm 37: We saw how in Psalm 37:1-11 Believers are to; Trust (not fret), Delight in the Lord to get our heart’s desires, Commit our ways to Him, Wait Patiently for Him (not fretting), Be Still (not struggling in our own strength for things to happen),  Refrain from Anger, (because it only leads to evil).

NOW, today; we’ll see God’s reasons why?

Because when we don’t; trust, delight, commit, wait, be still and refrain from anger: we will become God’s Enemies (wicked).

Anyone who does what they want instead of what God decrees is a wicked person from God’s point of view.

Look at the next few verses of the Psalm and you’ll see; they are doing the opposite of what Believers are directed to do;

Psalm 37:12-17 (The Way of the Wicked).
12  The wicked plot against the righteous and gnash their teeth at them;
13  but the Lord laughs at the wicked, for he knows their day is coming.
14  The wicked draw the sword and bend the bow to bring down the poor and needy, to slay those whose ways are upright.
15  But their swords will pierce their own hearts, and their bows will be broken.
16  Better the little that the righteous have than the wealth of many wicked;
17  for the power of the wicked will be broken, but the LORD upholds the righteous. 

What Do The Wicked Do?

They are plotting evil instead of trusting in, delighting in and committing to the Lord.

They are being violent; instead of refraining from anger.

What Will Happen To The Wicked?

  • Their POWER: Will be BROKEN.
  • The way of the wicked will perish.
  • Their POWER will be broken. 
  • They WILL BE Crushed by the LORD.

Why? Because the LORD upholds, protects and watches out for those who TRUST in HIM>

Why? Because the LORD pays back the wicked.

REALITY CHECK:

Does that mean we won’t experience horrors? NO! Because, the wicked do terrible things that really do hurt the; innocent, the weak, the poor, the vulnerable. However, the LORD is watching and will PAY BACK the wicked for their evil one day.

What Can Believer Do?

Even in the face of trials and tribulations, Christians will; continue to: TRUST in the LORD: Commit to Him: DELIGHT in Him: Wait Patiently for Him, Be Still in His presence, REFRAIN from Anger. Because, He’s got great plans for those who are gentle, humble, patient and meek. (The LORD is a rewarder of those who LOVE Him: Either in this life or the next). (THE MEEK SHALL INHERIT)…

We don’t know when we’ll experience the LORD’S Powerful Hand: Against our enemy or to reward us; it might be in this life or it may be in Eternity, but it’s better to live with His blessing, even if we’re being ill-treated in this life, than to respond in sinful ways; with anger, rage, malice etc… BE God’s Blessed People in this world: He’s got great plans and rewards waiting for you.

WHY? Because the meek shall inherit the Earth.

When do we get an inheritance? When the TIME is right.

In God’s TIMING:

So TRUST in Him, because His Timing is Perfect.

Christians will turn to the LORD, seeking the fullness of the Holy Spirit to live God’s way.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, as Christmas approaches this year, I plead with you to help me to; Not fret, to wait on You and Trust You, Help me to Delight in You Lord, Help me to be still in Your presence, Help me to refrain from anger and reacting in wrong ways, even if I am wronged. Help me to be an influence for good and for Your glory in this world today. Amen.

Every blessing for an awesome day with Jesus in the power of the Holy Spirit.

Don.

#Advent #Actsofkindness #BibleSociety #Jesus #DoGood

 

Like the first gleam of dawn

Let your light so shine

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

BUT: What did Jesus mean?

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

What was it then?

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

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

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

SHINE YOUR LIGHT.

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

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

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

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

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

NOW: Christians can sing with new words;

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

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

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

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

Don.

 

Taste and SEE that the LORD IS Good

trusting Jesus instead of religion

Daily Spirit & Word, 534: Taste and See That The Lord Is Good.

Psalm 34:8 (NIV) “Taste and see that the LORD is good;
blessed is the man who takes refuge in him.”

Have you ever been given something to drink and the person giving it says, “Go on taste it, you’ll see that it’s good”? If you are twenty or older then you’ll not take a person’s word for it, because you’ve heard that statement before, you’ve had bad experiences when someone’s told you “It tastes great” and you’ve tasted it and it’s been horrible, sometimes all you’ve wanted to do is spit it our of your mouth. However, like ‘real’ coffee, once you’ve tried it, you’ll never want to go back to instant coffee again. Or when someone gives you a cup of instant, you’ll say “Oh, thank you very much”, but all your instincts will be to spew it out of your mouth.

When the Bible encourages us to “Taste and See” it’s encouraging us to try the genuine article, the bee-knees of religions, because faith in the LORD is the only genuine faith on the Earth today. All other religions might taste ok for a while, but once you’ve TASTED the LORD, there’s no going back.

So many people have had bad or negative experiences of ‘Christianity’ or ‘religion’, so when we tell people; “Go on try Jesus” It’s no wonder they look at us sceptically. Because they’ve tried ‘religions’ before, they didn’t live up to expectations, they didn’t deliver, so why should this Jesus guy be any different?

Sceptical = Disbelieving, doubting, questioning, unbelieving.

“Why is Jesus different from ‘religion’?”

The Answer:

The answer is in the question; ‘they’ve tried ‘religion’, but Christianity is very different from every other faith on the planet, it’s not about ‘religion’ but about a person, the person of Jesus Christ. Once you’ve tasted the LORD there’s no going back. Why? Because Jesus is the only genuine faith. Following Jesus is the only way to Heaven. Submitting to Jesus as LORD (tasting) is the only way to discover that Christianity is TRUE to all it’s promises. It’s the only religion that cannot be tried before you buy. With Jesus it’s ALL of NOTHING.

You can try, as countless millions all over the world are doing right now, they’re trying the Christian ‘religion’ without coming to Jesus. Religion is empty, even the so called ‘Christian’ religion. That’s why it’s so difficult sometimes to bring people to the Saviour, they’ve tried being ‘religious’, those aspects of the Christian Faith: prayer, confession, belief, communion, baptism, church attendance and religious activities and found (as you rightly would) there’s nothing in it, it’s empty.

That’s because Jesus didn’t call us to a ‘religion’, He called us to Himself. He said, “Come to me” (Matthew 11:28-30).

McDonald’s Without A Burger:

It’s a bit like going to a McDonald’s Drive Through, and after ordering and paying for your burger, you drive to a nice viewpoint to enjoy your Happy Meal, only to discover that when you sink your teeth into your bun, the burger is missing. Everything else is there; the lettuce, the tomato, the gherkin, the mayo and the tomato sauce, but where’s the burger? My friends, that’s exactly what any ‘religion’ is like without the LORD Jesus Christ. It’s empty, it doesn’t taste good, it tastes horrible, it just doesn’t deliver. So no wonder people are twice as hard-hearted when we try and tell them about the Lord Jesus. They’ve tried the so called ‘christian’ religion before, what’s going to be different this time?

LOOK at the results of truly TASTING:

Our verse today contains two promises for those who come and taste the SAVIOUR: The LORD.

The First Promise: “Taste and SEE”. 

When we TASTE Jesus Christ our SIGHT is altered. We’ll actually SEE or KNOW.

What do you SEE? When you taste the LORD: Again go back to our verse and you’ll see that the LORD is “Good“.

He actually delivers upon this promise my friends. God really is GOOD and when we come to Jesus Christ first, before being religious or instead of being religious, then the Christian religion will begin make more sense. You’ll see if you taste the Lord Jesus first.

Until you come to Jesus Christ: You will be blind, you will not see, you will be in total spiritual darkness.  Jesus Christ is the LORD this passage is talking about. He’s the only one who can open your blind eyes and let you see.

Look at this passage from John’s Gospel below, and you’ll begin to see, but you will not see FULLY until you actually come; to trust the WORD, to receive and trust the LIGHT of the world the LORD Jesus:

John 1:1-5
 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
2  He was with God in the beginning.
3  Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.
4  In him was life, and that life was the light of men.
5  The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it.

What can we ‘SEE’ from the passage above? Jesus Christ is;

  • The WORD of God. (verse 1).
  • He is God (Verse 1)
  • He Created ALL THINGS (The Universe). (Verses 2&3).
  • He is the LIGHT of ALL LIFE. He gives ‘life’ to every creature (created thing). (Verse 4)
  • He wants to give NEW LIFE to mankind, but mankind is in DARKNESS (When you are in darkness you cannot see).

“OK, BUT How do we begin to SEE?”

Just read on a few verses in John and you’ll SEE my friends, our eyes are opened once we obey this next step of faith:

John 1:10-13 “He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognise him.
11  He came to that which was his own (the Jewish people), but his own did not receive 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.

Are you beginning to see? The Promise of being able to SEE comes true when we taste (receive) the LORD Jesus Christ.

The Second Promise: “Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him”. 

You’ll be so blessed by tasting and seeing that the LORD is good.

Blessed beyond your wildest dreams.

Many people will now be asking, OK what’s the difference between ‘religious’ activity or practice and this tasting? Being religious without first coming to Jesus really is like a McDonald’s without a burger in the bun.

  • It’s like having a fire in the winter and not lighting the fuel.
  • It’s like having a rocket without the rocket fuel.
  • It’s like getting an empty burger from McDonald’s.

So my friends, how do you taste the Lord? How do you see? How do you get blessed?

It’s the way we come to the Lord. Instead of being ‘religious’ following the practices of the Christian ‘religion’, we must come to the LORD Jesus Christ Himself first, then we’ll see, then we’ll know, then we’ll be blessed.

What did the first followers see when they trusted, followed and received Jesus Christ?

John 1:14 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.

My friends, you’ll see the GLORY (The Goodness) of the Lord.

Again this is Jesus’ own promise to you.

John 17:24-26 24  “Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, and to see my glory, the glory you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the world.
25  “Righteous Father, though the world does not know you, I know you, and they know that you have sent me.
26  I have made you known to them, and will continue to make you known in order that the love you have for me may be in them and that I myself may be in them.”

Once you receive Jesus (John 1:12) then John 17:26 comes to fulfillment “that I myself may be in them”… Jesus is IN you forever, you’ll SEE, you’ll KNOW and you’ll BE blessed. Why? Because you’ll see the glory (goodness) of the LORD. John 1:14, John 17:24.

If you have tried ‘religion’ and found it empty.

If you have tried the Christian ‘religion’ and found it empty.

Then, It’s no wonder, because no ‘religion’ can ever enable you to see and know and be. You must come to Jesus Christ first and receive Him as the LORD of your life, then you see, then you’ll know the goodness of the LORD.

Can I encourage you today to come in repentance and receive Jesus Christ by faith today?

Once you do, you’ll SEE and KNOW and BE blessed.

Psalm 34:8 (NIV) “Taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the man who takes refuge in him.”

The Christian ‘religion’ is ALL about Jesus.

If you are ready to give up religion and trust Jesus instead click HERE for the Good NEWS.

You may also need to be Filled with the Holy Spirit, then you can click HERE. to discover the Spirit Filled Life.

Don.

 

The Light Overcomes The Darkness

Daily Spirit & Word, 487: The Light Overcomes The Darkness.

40 Days With Jesus: Day 2.

 

Good morning my friends, our first meeting of 40 Days With Jesus was last night and it was amazing. God was showing us through those who came and testified that there are indeed many different ways to come out of the darkness and into His marvellous light. Each of us shared our Spiritual journey and how we came to be where we are today. It was good because most admitted they knew about Jesus, but wanted to go a bit deeper with Him. This little course will enable anyone to do that and we’ll all experience new light in our lives by coming to the Lord on purpose.

Some shared their experiences of recent hardships and in coming to Jesus holding onto the hope that there really is some little chink of light at the end of the dark tunnel. The trials we go through can vary in degree of hardship and duration. They can vary in nature too; some shared last night about relational conflict (how we can forgive), some ill-health, some financial pressures. When we’re going through troubled times it can sometimes seem that there’s no hope at all. Just recently we’ve met a few people who’ve actually contemplated suicide.

 John 20:1 “Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene went to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the entrance.”

When John tells us that Mary went to the tomb of Jesus on that first Sunday morning, there’s much more the the DARKNESS than the fact that it was just before dawn. He’s indicating that evil seemed to have triumphed, that darkness had overcome the light. However, even before Mary reaches the tomb, the LIGHT of the dawn had approached and the stone had already been rolled away from the tomb allowing the light to flood into the inner darkness.

In John 20:1-18, that we read yesterday, I think I read it through about six times, but I’m going to be reading it every day this week, we seen in this portion of God’s Word an indication of a theme that’s woven throughout John’s Gospel: Light & Darkness. Darkness representing the kingdom of evil and Light representing the Kingdom of good.

Many movies have this theme running through them; Star Wars, Superman, Batman, X-Men, etc… Even the good old Westerns with the good and bad. I’ll never forget that Clint Eastwood introduced a third term “The Good, The Bad and the Ugly” 🙂

In Star Wars the battle is the forces of good combating the forces of evil, represented by the Dark Side of the Force. So John’s Gospel is interwoven with this theme of LIGHT representing Good and God; and DARKNESS representing Evil and Satan.

Let’s just briefly take a look a how John does this:

In the beginning of his Gospel John introduces us to this theme immediately:

John 1:5 (NIV) “The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it.”

John 1:9 (NIV) “The true light that gives light to every man was coming into the world.”

We know from the context that the LIGHT is the LORD Jesus. Mary would have been devastated that the LIGHT that delivered her from the darkness of evil oppression and possession was now dead and gone. She’d witnessed his cruel death upon the cross and was grieving so much. Perhaps there was a deep-seated fear that now that Jesus was gone, she’d once again become prey to the darkness of evil and demons, that she’d be plunged into the darkness all over again.

Also in John’s Gospel we see the theme again, John 3:19-21 “This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. 20  Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. 21  But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what he has done has been done through God.”

We see here some awesome truths concerning the darkness of evil and the brilliance of the pure light of God. Sin keeps us away from the LIGHT, because we’re afraid when we sin. Remember Adam running and hiding in the Garden of Eden when He first sinned against God. Sin will keep you away from God and plunge you into the deepest darkness.

John 8:12  When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”

So when Mary arrived at the tomb it must have seemed to her that the DARK SIDE had been victorious; evil deeds, evil forces and evil people had seemingly triumphed over the light of the Lord Jesus. However, nothing could be further from the truth as Mary was about to experience when she finally met the risen Lord Jesus. Her darkness of night was about to explode with the brilliance of the first new day of the RESURRECTION of the Lord Jesus.

My friends, in coming to Jesus, we’re also brought from Darkness into His marvellous Light. We’ll experience a new hope within our being and like Mary our griefs and feelings of despair from our trials and tests will turn to the deepest joy. Jesus is with everyone who trust in Him until the end of the age. That’s HIS promise, let’s grab hold of it today and be encouraged by believing and trusting that these trials are momentary and soon we’ll be delivered from the darkness to triumphant light of God’s glory.

My friends, when Mary Magdalene reached the tomb of Jesus, all must have appeared darkness and gloom, but the LIGHT burst forth into her life when she met the risen Saviour. You can experience that same JOY today.

 Points to Ponder:

  • Can you think of moments in your own life when you were delivered from darkness into the light? What were the events leading up to this point? Take some time to thank God for His grace and mercy towards you during those times.
  • Are there any areas in your life where you know that you are still living in the darkness?
  • Are there any places in your life where the light is on but it’s dim? How would your life change if you began to walk fully in the light of Jesus in these areas?

 Prayer

Lord Jesus, I believe that You are the Light of the world and I take hold of the promise that I never have to walk in the darkness when I am following You (John 8:12). Thank you for calling me out of the darkness into Your wonderful Light (1 Peter 2:9). I reject any lie that may try to convince me that my breakthrough is not possible or will not be long-lasting. Freedom from sin and darkness is mine through You Lord Jesus Christ. I know that Your Word is a lamp for my feet and a light on my paths (Psalm 119:105). Lord Jesus, please direct my steps and show me how to walk in the light. Lead me into the freedom you won for me on the Cross and keep me there Lord. Amen.

40 Days With Jesus: Day 2 The Light Overcomes The Darkness.

Come back tomorrow for Day 3.

40 Days Home Page: Don’t forget you can watch the Video anytime you like during the week. I’ve watched it a few times now.

 

 

The Wideness of God’s Mercy

The Wideness of God's Mercy

Daily Spirit & Word, 481: The Wideness of God’s Mercy.

Good morning my friends, I hope your Easter Week is going well. Today we’re thinking of God’s mercy towards sinners. He’s just so outstandingly kind, gracious, forgiving, loving, gentle. When we hear of God’s wrath, anger and justice, we must always remember that they are tempered and controlled by every other aspect of His Divine Character.

 “As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us.”

My friends there is a wideness in God’s MERCY that I believe we’ve only just touched upon. So many Christians it seems love to hear or talk about God’s wrath and anger against sin (and He is), but there’s also such a breadth to God’s Divine Nature that we miss out on when we simplify our focus too much. It’s not surprising that when we concentrate on just one characteristic that we produce lop-sided followers. It’s like we’re producing Disciples with limps or with a load on one shoulder and we do a real dis-service to God’s Kingdom. Not only that, when your Heavenly Father looks at you, He’s probably wondering why you’re not conveying the whole Good News.

 Mercy triumphs over judgement.

James 2:13 (NIV) “because judgment without mercy will be shown to anyone who has not been merciful. Mercy triumphs over judgement!”

Can you see that my friends? God’s Justice and Judgement are good and righteous and necessary, but there’s a wideness in God’s mercy, that means because we’ve been forgiven so much, we should also extend that same mercy and forgiveness towards others.

 How is God Merciful?

Well, when we reflect upon the Cross and why it was that Jesus came to die, we discover that it was because of God’s great love for those He had created, He doesn’t want anyone to perish in hell, but everybody to come to repentance. Of course if people refuse God’s mercy, then He’ll have to give them His judgement, anger and wrath against their rebellion and sin. However, the amazing thing is God holds out the olive branch of peace and mercy and forgiveness. He’ll remove all our transgressions, trespasses and sins, “As far as the east if from the west”…

My friends, if you are sincerely desiring to follow after God, become more like Jesus, then you need to discover more about what God is like in His Character, the Holy Spirit will be moulding you into the same shape as Him. There’s no better place to look than to the stories of the Saviour, but the same nature and character are also revealed in the Old Testament.

Let’s look at just one Psalm that shows us God’s great kindnesses and mercies. Psalm 103. Read it and meditate upon it, highlight every word that speaks to you of God’s goodness, mercy, kindness, forgiveness, grace, etc…

Read this Psalm out as loud as you can, get to a lonely place and shout it out, for faith comes by hearing the words of the Lord. My friends, God’s MERCY will become evident when you HEAR God’s Word Today. Let His grace and kindness wash you clean.

Psalm 103:1-22 (NIV)
1  [Of David.] Praise the LORD, O my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name.
2  Praise the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits
3  who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases,
4  who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion,
5  who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.
6  The LORD works righteousness and justice for all the oppressed.
7  He made known his ways to Moses, his deeds to the people of Israel:
8  The LORD is compassionate and graciousslow to angerabounding in love. 
9  He will not always accuse, nor will he harbour his anger for ever;
10  he does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities.
11  For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him;
12  as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.
13  As a father has compassion on his children, so the LORD has compassion on those who fear him;
14  for he knows how we are formed, he remembers that we are dust.
15  As for man, his days are like grass, he flourishes like a flower of the field;
16  the wind blows over it and it is gone, and its place remembers it no more.
17  But from everlasting to everlasting the LORD’S love is with those who fear him, and his righteousness with their children’s children—
18  with those who keep his covenant and remember to obey his precepts.
19  The LORD has established his throne in heaven, and his kingdom rules over all.
20  Praise the LORD, you his angels, you mighty ones who do his bidding, who obey his word.
21  Praise the LORD, all his heavenly hosts, you his servants who do his will.
22  Praise the LORD, all his works everywhere in his dominion. Praise the LORD, O my soul.

Did you shout it out? I’d have woken all the grandchildren, but I shouted it out in my mind 🙂 I’ll be shouting it when they all wake up in about an hour though.

From the start to the finish this Psalm shouts out loudly of the wideness of God’s MERCY.

The themes ringing loudly in your ears today should be: Forgiveness, Healing, Deliverance, Soul-Satisfaction, Redemption, Compassion, Renewal, He Fights For Justice, Gracious, Patience (slow to anger), Love (abounding in love), Cleansing from All sin, Praise the LORD my soul.

 “As a Father has compassion on his children”

One day when I was playing football (soccer) with my brother in the garden, I broke a big window. My mum shouted at me and told me to come into the house, she said, “Wait until your father gets home, he’s going to punish you severely for this”. All the rest of that day I was dreading the moment my dad got home from work. He came in and I thought at first my mum had forgotten to tell him, but then she did and my dad said, “Go into the bedroom, I’ll be in soon to sort you out boy”… I was crying and saying how sorry I was, it was an accident, pleading for forgiveness, but my dad’s eyes said it all. He came in and closed the door, then he said, “Get over my knees”. All the time me pleading, “I didn’t mean it”. Then he whispered in my ear, “make a loud scream and I’ll pretend to whack you” So that’s what we did, I creamed and he made a whacking sound. Then he said, “I know you didn’t mean it, but be very careful, you’ll have to work to pay for the window” I nodded and he said, “Now go in and rub your bum like it hurts”. My brothers and sisters and mother were all looking at me when I went in and I played my part and pretended to be hurt.

“As a Father has compassion on his children” My dad gave me a great lesson that day. I deserved punishment, it was in the days when parents disciplined their children and I knew I was wrong, but he had mercy upon me. Earthly fathers love their kids, but God our Heavenly Father has so much more compassion, He doesn’t punish us as our sins deserve (Verse 10).

Does this remind you of the Lord’s prayer? It should. It ends as the Lord’s prayer begins, but the themes of God’s grace and mercy are as evident. Pray this Psalm, let His Character soak your soul and sing songs about how merciful our Father in Heaven really is. He’s forgiven me so much, and yet He’s calling me to a higher walk with Him. He knows what I’m like, yet He’s crowning me with glory and honour. How can we not PRAISE the LORD, O my soul.

Hymn: There’s a Wideness in God’s Mercy:
There’s a wideness in God’s mercy,
like the wideness of the sea.
There’s a kindness in God’s justice,
which is more than liberty.
There is no place where earth’s sorrows
are more felt than up in heaven.
There is no place where earth’s failings
have such kindly judgment given.

For the love of God is broader
than the measures of the mind.
And the heart of the Eternal
is most wonderfully kind.
If our love were but more faithful,
we would gladly trust God’s Word,
and our lives reflect thanksgiving
for the goodness of our Lord.

Turn and again and dust yourself off my friends, get cleaned up and wash your hands to serve the Lord. Let His kindness, mercy and grace wash over your soul today.

Jesus died to set you free from sin. Live in that freedom, knowing the depths and wideness of God’s mercy and how it triumphs over judgement.

Don.

 

Good Comes From the Good Stored Within

Daily Spirit & Word, 455: Goodness Comes From Storing God’s Word in Your Heart.

Seven Benefits of Memorising The Word of God.

Benefit #1: Good Comes From the Good Stored Within.

Good morning my friends. Yesterday was quite good and full of joy in the Lord, but also quite hard. It was the day the earth said goodbye to Jimmy (A man who was a resident at The British Home For Incurables {it’s full title} we call it today BHI or just The British Home, but it was founded to care for those who’s prospect of recovery was not what man could do but only God, a miracle). Jimmy had been in the home for a very long time and was increasingly incapacitated. When I first met Jimmy about seven years ago, he was bright, singing, dancing and doing so many things; then he was in a wheelchair, then over time Jimmy was bed-bound and could only just move his head a little, speech became almost impossible. But Jimmy had the brightest spirit of anyone I’ve ever known. He thought about others whilst he himself was incapacitated. He knew people’s names, their children’s names, he even knew and asked about my children whom he’d never met. He knew their problems and what they were going through in life. Jimmy also knew by heart many, hundreds of hymns and songs of praise. He knew prayers and Bible verses by heart. Though Jimmy’s body couldn’t do much, he was a witness to the Lord and a joy to be with.

If you are ever in doubt about the importance of getting to know God’s Word in your heart, then consider Jimmy’s life. He knew the Lord, the Word of God and was full of praise. Even though at the end after years of being bed-bound, he’d had enough and wanted to go home to Heaven, every week when I talked with Jimmy, he was still full of light and life. It never took much to get Jimmy singing and praising the Lord. We’d talk for ages about Jesus and knowing Him as the Good Shepherd. Jimmy loved Psalm 23 and knew it word perfect.

This brings me onto the first benefit of Memorising God’s Word:

 1) Good Comes From The Good Stored Within.

Matthew 12:35  “The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in him, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in him.”

Whatever is stored in your heart will come out in the course of your daily life.

Jesus said this in so many wonderful ways;

Matthew 12:34-37  “You offspring of vipers! How can you speak good things when you are evil (wicked)? For out of the fullness (the overflow, the superabundance) of the heart the mouth speaks. 35  The good man from his inner good treasure flings forth good things, and the evil man out of his inner evil storehouse flings forth evil things. 36  But I tell you, on the day of judgement men will have to give account for every idle (inoperative, nonworking) word they speak. 37  For by your words you will be justified and acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned and sentenced.” (Amplified Bible).

 

The CONDITION of your heart is revealed, by the Good or the Evil that comes from within.

Out of the overflow of the Heart the mouth speaks.

An EVIL (Wicked) Person’s Heart: Will pour forth, bitterness, blackness, horrible speech, evil things about others, nasty words that a vicious and hurtful, hateful and destructive. They’ll be people who are always knocking others, back-biting, back-stabbing, gossiping, grumbling, chuntering, complaining, cowardly, contentious, combative, argumentative, disobedient, disrespectful, dastardly, nasty.

 Out of the OVERFLOW of the HEART the MOUTH Speaks.

When we store-up within our hearts (heads) God’s Word, Scriptures, we’ll be fixing our minds on God’s Good things.

My friends, going back to Jimmy; His heart; stored full, cram-packed, jam-packed with good, full of the good things of God, spoke good things, but He also became good inside; He overflowed with goodness. So many people I know, who came to help at The British Home, made a beeline for Jimmy’s room. You see, just to be in his presence for a little while brought light and life in to your own heart. Many times it’s difficult to visit people who’re crippled up and in constant pain, because there is often a black atmosphere about them, but Jimmy was light and life, love and peace. That came from the GOOD stored up in his heart over many years. He knew the LORD and he knew the WORD of the Lord, He knew Hymns that contained God’s Word. In his crippled condition Jimmy was a powerful witness of the goodness of God.

There are many more people in similar conditions to Jimmy at the British Home, some have faith in the Lord Jesus and they too shine with God’s light. If you ever want to be humbled and reminded that though you are going through tough times, there are people who’re going through much, much more than you and they are FULL OF JOY IN THE LORD.

The first benefit of getting God’s WORD inside your being is that you’ll become good too. You’ll be as the Proverb says, “As a man thinks in his heart so is he”

Luke 6:43-45 “For there is no good (healthy) tree that bears decayed (worthless, stale) fruit, nor on the other hand does a decayed (worthless, sickly) tree bear good fruit. 44  For each tree is known and identified by its own fruit; for figs are not gathered from thorn-bushes, nor is a cluster of grapes picked from a bramble-bush. 45  The upright (honourable, intrinsically good) man out of the good treasure [stored] in his heart produces what is upright (honourable and intrinsically good), and the evil man out of the evil storehouse brings forth that which is depraved (wicked and intrinsically evil); for out of the abundance (overflow) of the heart his mouth speaks.” (Amplified Bible).

You become what you store in your heart.

In my own life, I can see the need to store up more of God’s Word. I try and do that every single day, but I’ve still got nasty bits that need to be washed in the water of the word.

I wonder if the Lord is asking you today, “What’s your heart condiditon like?” Is it Good? Have you been storing the good in your heart or the evil. For whatever we spend our time doing, saying, thinking, focusing upon, we’ll become.

You’ll become a good tree producing good fruit (Remember the fruit of the Spirit; Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness and Self-Control).

 

Tomorrow, we’ll be looking at another benefit of Memorising God’s Word (Hymns, Psalms and Songs of Praise).

A NOTE To Myself: Spend more time doing what’s useful for eternity. Stop doing what’s damaging your soul. I must stop chuntering under my breath negative things when I’m upset. Intake what’s Good, and Expel what’s not good.

 

Bible Memory Course:

If you’d like to know how to get God’s Word into your Memory Banks (Stored for Life), we’ll be running an Online Bible Memory Course / Alongside a Group / Class in Church. Let me know. It’s coming very soon.

God bless and start trying on your own to get God’s Word into your heart.

Don.

Quote: Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn.

“… What about the main thing in life, all its riddles? If you want, I’ll spell it out for you right now. Do not pursue what is illusionary -property and position: all that is gained at the expense of your nerves decade after decade, and is confiscated in one fell night. Live with a steady superiority over life -don’t be afraid of misfortune, and do not yearn for happiness; it is, after all, all the same: the bitter doesn’t last forever, and the sweet never fills the cup to overflowing. It is enough if you don’t freeze in the cold and if thirst and hunger don’t claw at your insides. If your back isn’t broken, if your feet can walk, if both arms can bend, if both eyes can see, if both ears hear, then whom should you envy? And why? Our envy of others devours us most of all. Rub your eyes and purify your heart -and prize above all else in the world those who love you and who wish you well. Do not hurt them or scold them, and never part from any of them in anger; after all, you simply do not know: it may be your last act before your arrest, and that will be how you are imprinted on their memory.”
Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, The Gulag Archipelago 1918-1956

Seven Benefits of Memorizing God’s Word.

Benefit #1: Good Comes From the Good Stored Within.