New Year 2017 Getting The Father’s Heart

Lost sinners and Jesus commission to go and seek and save the lost

Daily Spirit & Word: 821

Jesus Of Nazareth.

Getting The Father’s Heart For the New Year.

Psalm 33:11 (NIV)  But the plans of the LORD stand firm for ever, the purposes of his heart through all generations.

Over the Christmas season the TV is quite good, because they show all the old family favourite films. It struck me that the films that seem to stand the test of time are not the ones with fancy graphics or awesome animation, nor is it fast moving scenes, car pile-ups or big explosions, etc, but it is the ones that have really great stories and characters that are convincing.

One such film, I watched again for the umpteenth time was; Jesus of Nazareth. In an early scene Peter was complaining about having to pay taxes to the Romans even after being out fishing all night and having caught nothing, when he got into port he wasn’t convinced that Jesus was the Messiah who could set them free from Roman domination. It showed a reluctant Peter, when asked by Jesus to go out fishing after they’d been fishing all night long, so the other Disciples had to coax him into accepting Jesus into his boat. I’d never noticed before that when Jesus told the story of the prodigal son, he did so in a house full of obvious sinners, Matthew the Tax Collector and Publicans and in the film the story was targeted at a reluctant Peter who was standing outside the door of the house listening. The film portrayed Peter as a belligerent and reluctant Disciple of Jesus, who was being judgemental about Matthew who collected taxes for the Romans.

I’m not convinced that part of the film is authentic, however it did get me thinking about Jesus telling of that story. Who was he targeting? Then I thought to myself, that story applies to every single one of us, so it would also have applied to both Jesus’ Disciples and His opponents, the Pharisees and the Sadducees.

The Prodigal Son: The Lost Son / The Loving Father / The Resentful Older Brother.

Luke 15:17-32 (NIV)
17  “When he came to his senses, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired men have food to spare, and here I am starving to death!
18  I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you.
19  I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired men.’
20  So he got up and went to his father. “But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.
21  “The son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’
22  “But the father said to his servants, ‘Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet.
23  Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let’s have a feast and celebrate.
24  For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ So they began to celebrate.
25  “Meanwhile, the older son was in the field. When he came near the house, he heard music and dancing.
26  So he called one of the servants and asked him what was going on.
27  ‘Your brother has come,’ he replied, ‘and your father has killed the fattened calf because he has him back safe and sound.’
28  “The older brother became angry and refused to go in. So his father went out and pleaded with him.
29  But he answered his father, ‘Look! All these years I’ve been slaving for you and never disobeyed your orders. Yet you never gave me even a young goat so I could celebrate with my friends.
30  But when this son of yours who has squandered your property with prostitutes comes home, you kill the fattened calf for him!’
31  ” ‘My son,’ the father said, ‘you are always with me, and everything I have is yours.
32  But we had to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ “

The Prodigal Son: Who demanded his inheritance before his father had even passed away. Who wasted his inheritance in wild, sensual and sinful living. Who was far away from home and in a desperate state. Who decided to repent and return home again, begging for mercy and forgiveness. Who among us has not been like that Prodigal Son? We’ve all gone away from God on purpose at some point in our lives, choosing to go with our desires, or our feelings instead of God’s way.

The Father’s Response: To run out and greet his wayward son, embrace him, cloth him, bring him home and throw a big party. Every time I hear that story of the Father’s loving heart it brings home to me just how much God really does LOVE everyone, and is just waiting for us all to come back home again to Him.

The Elder Brother: Who was judgemental, outside, refusing to come in, hurt and offended at the Father’s grace, kindness and mercy towards his wayward brother. Refusing to be consoled. (That’s who Peter was in the film), but who among us has not acted like that elder brother? We’ve probably all thought at one point or another, “He doesn’t deserve God’s grace and mercy after what he’s been up to”. However, when we bring it home, back to ourselves, we don’t deserve God’s forgiveness, love and kindness either, it’s all because of His GRACE that we are saved. The fact is God really does LOVE everybody and wants everyone to come to REPENTANCE.

Which one of these characters do you see yourself as being in that story? The wayward son, the merciful, kind and loving father or the elder brother standing outside refusing to join in the celebrations?

  • I’m sure none of us want to be thought of as the Elder Brother do we? Judgemental, Reluctant to celebrated when a sinner repents.
  • I’m sure we can all see a bit of the wayward son in ourselves. We’ve all sinned and fallen short of God’s Holy Standards.
  • I’m sure we’d all like to be just like the Father: Full of grace, mercy, kindness, goodness and love.

But which one are we? Which one are you today?

God is the same, the Bible tells us, yesterday, today and forever.

  • If you’ve wandered away: He’ll welcome you back. Repent and return home to your Heavenly Father.
  • If you’re being judgemental: He’ll come out to you and encourage you to be like the Father. It’s just as much a sin to be like the elder brother as it is to be the wayward son.
  • If you are like the Father today; full of Kindness, goodness, mercy, gentleness, self-control, joy, love, faithfulness, then you’ve got the fruit of the Holy Spirit in abundance. Praise the LORD! Go out and look for both, the wayward sons and daughters of God; He’s longing for you to bring them to their senses and bring them home.

However, if in reading through this little piece, you’ve been pricked in your conscience in some way, then don’t despair of yourself, just get right with your Heavenly Father, do it right now, don’t delay, confess your sins to God and He will forgive you. He will wash you clean and give you a brand new start for the New Year 2017.

I’m praying for all my friends, to be closer to the Lord Jesus in 2017 than they’ve ever been before. Amen!

Here’s hoping you have awesome success in 2017: May you be overflowing with Holy Spirit power to be:

  • More Loving.
  • More Joy Filled.
  • More Peaceful.
  • More Kind.
  • More Holy and Good.
  • More Faithful.
  • More Gentle.
  • More Self-Controlled.

Who among us doesn’t need more of this kind of fruit in our lives in 2017?

I do!
I want it!
I’m praying to Jesus for it.
Praise the LORD!
Don.

NOTES: The story that Jesus told about the Prodigal Son was part of a bigger story in Luke 15:

  • First, a lost sheep (One of a hundred)
  • Second, a lost coin (one of ten) and
  • Lastly, a lost son (one of two)…

Which is most precious to us?

Which is most precious to God?

The people the story is TARGETED at in the Bible are: The Pharisees and the religious teachers of Israel in Jesus time. They would all celebrate a lost sheep being returned to its owner. They would all value a lost coin, even though it was one of ten, but they kept themselves away from lost SINNERS and shunned those, who in their eyes, were completely lost already.

We can all imagine how hard it would be to loose a sheep, even though it’s one in a hundred.

We can all imagine how precious those coins must have been, even though there was another nine to console.

However, imagine having just two sons and loosing one of them, how devastating for any father is that? But when he returns, OH THE JOY… That’s the Father’s Heart.

The Pharisees, much like people in our own time, are MATERIALISTIC: They valued sheep and coins, but thought very little about the value of human life. Especially people who didn’t fit into their moral code of conduct.

The two sons are both Materialistic: The lost son is evidently wayward, but he repents and is restored and celebrated.

However, the materialism in the older son and his resentful attitude only become evident when the LOST son is welcomed back with open arms. He wants a PARTY with his friends. He was thinking about what his brother had wasted (part of his own inheritance)… He refused to coming in and join the celebration.

The Bible makes it clear, the Pharisees and we should have the SAME kind of heart as the Father in the story that Jesus told.

  • Many preachers focus on the Lost Son: to give hope to the parents in the congregation who may have a wayward child, who’s far away from the family and God.
  • Others; focus upon the Loving heart of the Father and His obvious welcome of a truly repentant sinner. That’s what God is like.
  • Others direct our attention to the Resentful Older Brother: How’s our attitude towards those who’ve come back to Jesus Christ after wasting their lives in wild living?

But the thing that jumps out at me afresh today is GETTING the FATHER’S HEART: Jesus wants is all to know what’s going on in HEAVEN: Their is rejoicing and celebration going on in God’s House when just one of us, truly comes to our senses and surrenders our lives to God through His Son Jesus.

Psalm 33:11 (NIV)  But the plans of the LORD stand firm for ever, the purposes of his heart through all generations.

Let’s get the FATHER’S HEART today: Pray for yourself in 2017, that you’ll be filled with the same kind of compassion that Jesus has for those who are far away from God, lost.

Be obedient to the Father’s Heart: Go out and seek and save the LOST: That’s Why Jesus came: To SAVE SINNERS. He’s commissioned every single Christian to be involved in this, the greatest calling, to join Him in SAVING SINNERS. The Holy Spirit is drawing them to Jesus, all we have to do is PRAY and SHARE the Good News. Because FAITH comes by hearing the Good News of Jesus Christ.

Now, we’d all love our churches to be filled afresh with LOST SINNERS wouldn’t we?

Let’s get busy in 2017 saving as many as we can. Hopefully we’ll see a HARVEST of Souls this coming year. Amen!

Be blessed in Jesus,

Don.

 

When Hearts Are Ready For Jesus

Jesus is waiting for you

Daily Spirit & Word: 808: When Hearts Are Ready For Jesus.

He’s READY for You.

Jeremiah 33:3 (NIV) “Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.”

Last night was brilliant, it was cold, windy and I’d had a dozy of a day and didn’t feel much like going out to share the Good News of Jesus in the cold again. Because I’d been out in the cold all day and gotten frozen to the core. Sitting in the car for hours waiting for the AA man to come and fix our flat tyre. Then standing around chatting while he changed my wheels around. In the old days you’d have a spare in the boot or under the car, but now Vauxhall Motors just give you a mastic sealing compound to inject into the burst tyre, only it didn’t work. We eventually got the car to QuickFix and they sorted it out in about half an hour. Whilst waiting though, the sun was shining on the fast moving storm clouds and the sky looked so awesome, so I just had to praise the LORD.

So although I didn’t feel like it, I arrived in church to find two of our men, David and Les, waiting to go out. Then Isaac arrived and we knew we’d have to go. We prayed and sang a song, asking Jesus to open hearts on this cold and windy night and give us some people who were ready to hear the Gospel Good News of Jesus. Oh my friends, when you’ve had a day like we’d had and pray to Jesus like that, He doesn’t disappoint.

Before going we folded some new little tracts: They’re brilliant for springboards into conversations with folks. You can get yours from this link: The 4 Points.

t4ptract2

We chatted with one man for ages, but he wasn’t really that open to the good news (yet). He was so wrapped up in what he’d experienced in life and was understandably bitter about being thrown out of his home whilst he was in hospital. All his belongings had been thrown onto the streets and most of his life-time’s treasures, mementoes and keepsakes had disappeared, lost forever. He’d been left with absolutely nothing. So after chatting we asked if he’d let us pray for him. All three of us knelt down on the cold ground and began to pray to the Lord for him. He was so warm and thankful afterwards. We left him with some tracts and shared the way to Jesus with him before leaving. It’s sometimes so right that we need to listen and hear their story first, before they are ready to hear what we’ve got to give. David made sure that he understood clearly about real repentance and trusting in Jesus.

Next we met a man who seemed quite open. He’d had a Roman Catholic upbringing and was a bit sceptical of ‘religion’, because the Nuns who taught him were quite severe  and strict with their discipline. He’d been serving in the church in various ways over the years. He’d even been paid as a pallbearer at funerals. After listening for a short while this time I asked him how a Roman Catholic gets into Heaven. He said, “We just have to try our best and be good”… I asked him, “Do you think you’ve been good enough?” He said, “No, I’ve been pretty bad”… Honest or what! So I said, “Where will you be spending eternity?” He said, “Oh I don’t know if I believe in a Heaven and Hell like that”…

Well after reasoning with him and opening up his conscience in the usual way, using God’s Commandments, he was then very open to hear about the Good News of Jesus and the prospect of being forgiven and receiving new life. He was so convicted, so after praying with him by the traffic lights we turned back to David’s car to get him a Bible.

Derek shared some amazing things about his life with us last night, it seemed to me that God had been preparing his heart to meet with us. He said, “I prayed for the first time in years yesterday”. He’d been praying to the Lord for other people and for the world. So when we prayed for Him, it was God’s way of showing him he’d heard his prayers.

Why is it always when we are praying that noisy motorbikes seem to stream past revving their engines? 🙂 Undeterred, we pressed the Gospel home and checked that Derek understood what he was going to do to be saved. I asked him when he was going to get right with Jesus? He said, “NOW”.

Walking back through the churchyard we joked and laughed, then Derek was very thankful and overjoyed to receive his new Bible. He was so open and honest, I hope we’ll see him again soon.

Although we gave out a few more little Gospel tracts and chatted briefly with a few folks, these two conversations were on my heart last night. So will you please pray for Everton and Derek?

When you have a horrible day, and things seem to be going all wrong, be ready, because Jesus just might be getting you into the right frame of mind to be His servant and witness of the JOY of the LORD. Thankfully we’d asked Him for the Holy Spirit’s anointing before going out. One man thought I was psychic, but I said, “No, it’s the LORD who gives us words to say”…

Sharing The Good News with folks on cold nights can be fun. However, we do pray for more of these kind of openhearted encounters, where hearts, minds, souls and wills are prepared, ready and open for the Good News of Jesus Christ.

We’re praying for more Labourers in God’s Harvest Field:

So that many more will be sharing Jesus, because those strangers and the ones you know and love who don’t know Jesus yet, need Him much more than they realise. It because we’ve all got a Divine Appointment we can’t escape: Hebrews 9:27 (KJV) “And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:”  My friends, everyone is going to give an account of their lives before Him on Judgement day, and from what the Bible tells us, we’re all going to fall short of Heaven’s entry requirements.  Romans 3:23 (NIV) “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,” We don’t want anyone to end up in the place that’s been reserved for Satan and his demonic army. (Revelation 20:10-15). Let’s get a heart that’s been warmed by the love of Jesus and share the Good News, because FAITH comes by hearing and they’ll only hear if someone goes and shares Jesus with them.

Many people don’t think they know enough about the Bible or their faith, however, the truth is, we’ll only really get a complete and full understanding of our faith when we’re ready to share it with others. God spoke through Paul to us all when he wrote Philemon.

Philemon 1:6 (NIV) “I pray that you may be active in sharing your faith, so that you will have a full understanding of every good thing we have in Christ.”

The fullness of understanding comes when we are active in sharing the Gospel… God’s going to give you personal revelation of all the good things you have in Christ. The Scriptures will open up and reveal treasures… My friends, God shares His secrets with His obedient friends.  Jeremiah 33:3 (NIV) “Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.”

So don’t ever think you don’t know enough, because if you’ve got Jesus, been born of Holy Spirit, have a basic understanding of the good news, then you’ve got everything you need. It’s when you begin sharing that God will give you even more insight and understanding.

My tough day was nothing when compared to those who suffered and died yesterday in the Croydon Tram Accident. It’s so shocking. I can’t tell you how much this has affected so many people where we live. However, when you’ve had a tough day please remember that the LORD Jesus Christ is only a prayer away.

It hits hope to me the importance of being ready to share Jesus with folks. True JOY will come. Some people’s hearts have been prepared by Him ready for you to share the Good News. Jesus is working with us, He’s with us as we share. Oh the JOY of seeing someone come to Him.

Be blessed and filled afresh with Holy Spirit. He’ll give you a fire that cold nights can’t put out.

Praise the LORD!

Don.

PLEASE PRAY:

Yesterday in Tram Accident in Croydon: Mail Online Tram Accident.

Many of us have been shocked and saddened by the tragic accident yesterday in Croydon. Our prayers and thoughts are with the families of those who lost their lives. Five people killed and over fifty people seriously injured.

Because this is so local to us, we will be remembering all those affected and who died at our Remembrance Service on Sunday.

 

 

Only God Can SAVE You From The Judgement to come.

Good works or following religious rules and regulations can't save us from our sins. We can only be saved by God alone.

Daily Spirit & Word: 796: Being Saved Is Possible, but ONLY by God’s Grace and Mercy.

Only God Can SAVE You.

From the Judgement to Come.

Being SAVED Is Possible, But Only By God.

Can A Camel Go Through The Eye of a Needle?

Good morning my friends, today we’re back with the Gospel of Mark. In our gatherings in church, we’ve been going through Mark for almost a year now. The Journey has been amazing. We’re discovering what an amazing LORD Jesus really is, and how inspired Mark (the author) must have been by Holy Spirit. I don’t think it’s possible that a man could put this work together, without the help of God. For we’ve been experiencing progressive revelation and this portion of God’s Word has built for us a wonderful picture of Jesus nature and character, but in doing so He’s also opened up what true Discipleship is like, from each and every story, parable and incident He recorded.

What we’ve observed:

  • Jesus is more Godlike that we at first would imagine.
  • The Disciples are more human and unable to save themselves from the consequences of sin.
  • Jesus (God) needs less human and earthly resources to sustain His life.
  • The Disciples, followers of Jesus, need more and more Divine intervention and revelation.

What I’ve discovered afresh, as if I didn’t know, is that we all need to stay very close to Jesus, every day, just to keep going as His followers. Yes we have advantages over His own disciples; we have the Holy Spirit’s indwelling, the Word of God in full; so we know how to serve and we have Jesus’ promises to be with us always for the journey. However, we must be willing to maintain that connection with God.

Today we’re back with Mark 10:23-31. Being SAVED Is Possible, But Only By An Act Of God.

  • Can a Camel Go Through The Eye of a Needle?
  • Can a Man Be SAVED by Good Works?

 

Mark 10:23-31 (NIV)
23  Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, “How hard it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of God!”
24  The disciples were amazed at his words. But Jesus said again, “Children, how hard it is to enter the kingdom of God!
25  It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.”
26  The disciples were even more amazed, and said to each other, “Who then can be saved?”
27  Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but not with God; all things are possible with God.”
28  Peter said to him, “We have left everything to follow you!”
29  “I tell you the truth,” Jesus replied, “no-one who has left home or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or fields for me and the gospel
30  will fail to receive a hundred times as much in this present age (homes, brothers, sisters, mothers, children and fields—and with them, persecutions) and in the age to come, eternal life.
31  But many who are first will be last, and the last first.”
Last week Robert preached, whilst I was away in Plymouth, about the Rich Young Ruler and how he thought he’d fulfilled and lived according to the requirements of the Old Testament Law (Summarised in the Ten Commandments)… When he said to Jesus, “All these I have kept since I was a boy” Jesus didn’t react by saying what He knew, “No, my friend you have not lived according to God’s Commandments”… Instead, Jesus looked at him and, as the Bible tells us, “He loved him”…

 

I wonder if Jesus look of love was one of pity; because the Rich Young Man was BLIND (He couldn’t see his Spiritual need and didn’t understand how much he was in need of God’s forgiveness). I do not think that WEALTH was his only problem. In fact I’ll go as far a declaring I KNOW it wasn’t. Because, when we look at the Ten Commandments properly and honestly we’ll soon see we’ve all FALLEN SHORT of every single one of them: None of us can say in front of God: “I’ve kept all of these since I was a child”…

 

However, Jesus did focus upon his WEALTH.

Jesus knows what a TRAP WEALTH IS for most people in this world.

It was back then and it is today.

That’s why He said, “How hard it is for the rich to enter the Kingdom of God”.

 

The Disciples Knew It Too: “If A Camel CAN’T, Then We CAN’T either”

They knew that EVERYONE wanted to be RICH: Like the Rich Young Ruler…

 

Today, many people, all over the world, are clamouring for WEALTH, Health and Happiness:

People are risking life and limb in the Mediterranean Sea to get to Europe, the Land of PROMISE.

They know, people in the West are Prosperous, Wealthy and Healthy: So, willing to risking everything in flimsy boats, that’s what they want for themselves. They launch themselves into the Mediterranean Ocean from all over Africa in their thousands ever month. Many of those boats are without even an engine, cram-packed with people; men, women and babies. How foolish to go to sea like that, without an engine in a flimsy rubber boat. That’s how desperate people in this world are for Wealth, Health and Happiness.

 

When they arrive, they head for the most prosperous, populous areas; Germany and the UK.

 

Oh my friends, if only they could see; Health, Wealth and Happiness can’t SAVE you; Only Jesus Christ can give you lasting peace and happiness upon this earth and the life to come.

 

THE IMPOSSIBILITY:

The Disciples KNEW it’s IMPOSSIBLE then, for ANYONE to enter the Kingdom of God.

So they asked that pertinent question; “Who Then Can Be SAVED?”

 

JESUS ANSWER: It’s Impossible for man to save himself: Therefore ONLY God can save.

The Disciples asked in Mark 10:26 and Jesus answered in Mark 10:27.
26  The disciples were even more amazed, and said to each other, “Who then can be saved?”
27  Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but not with God; all things are possible with God.”
It’s IMPOSSIBLE: For anyone to SAVE themselves by human effort, by your own goodness or by your own righteousness.

The Rich Young Man: Good in his own eyes; couldn’t.

The Rest of Humanity: Good in their own eyes; can’t either.

However, Jesus revealed the IMPOSSIBILITY:

A Camel can’t ever FIT through the eye of a needle.

A Human being can’t ever FIT in the Kingdom of God.

 

NOTICE: The DISCIPLES: Were EVEN MORE AMAZED… i.e. They were amazed the Rich Young Man couldn’t be SAVED. Now they were EVEN MORE AMAZED, because they knew “NO ONE” could be saved. Unless God did something.

 

That “MORE AMAZED”: Reveals to me something about the Disciples.

Perhaps they we secretly thinking they were good enough themselves. After all they’d been with Jesus (they’d left EVERYTHING to follow Him).

Perhaps they’re just beginning to get Jesus message, that EVERYONE needs God’s intervention; if they ever hope to enter the Kingdom of God.

“Not with God, ALL THINGS are POSSIBLE with God”.

 

It’s POSSIBLE: But ONLY with God.

A Camel Can’t go through the eye of a needle (Impossible).

A Man Can’t enter the Kingdom of God (Impossible).

 

Unless, God does something. (Mark has been revealing that Jesus is God, because only God can do the things Jesus did).

  • Only God could make a Camel fit through the eye of a needle.
  • Only God could turn water into wine.
  • Only God could walk on water.
  • Only God could calm a storm with a word.
  • Only God could command Demons.
  • Only God could open the eyes of a man born blind.
  • Only God could bring a dead girl back to life.
  • Only God could make you FIT Enough to enter into Heaven.

ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE WITH GOD.

ONLY GOD CAN SAVE YOU; YOU CAN’T SAVE YOURSELF.

Peter Reveals: (Why he was even more amazed) “We’ve left everything to follow You”… i.e. surely we’ll be saved by our human effort… “Look at the sacrifice we’ve made Jesus”… “Surely you can see how serious we are in following you”… My friends, no matter how hard you try, you’ll NEVER be good enough for Heaven. No matter what EFFORT you put into it yourself. You’ve got to STOP trying to SAVE yourself and let Jesus SAVE you. Why? Because no amount of effort to be good will wash away your sins that contaminate your soul.

Jesus answer, “No, Peter, because by leaving everything, you’ve gained much more”..

Mark 10:28-30.
28  Peter said to him, “We have left everything to follow you!”
29  “I tell you the truth,” Jesus replied, “no-one who has left home or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or fields for me and the gospel 30  will fail to receive a hundred times as much in this present age (homes, brothers, sisters, mothers, children and fields—and with them, persecutions) and in the age to come, eternal life.

If we let go of EVERYTHING: Then it’s possible to be SAVED: But only by God.

The great temptation is that most people think they can do enough good works to earn a place in Heaven. That’s why the Disciples asked Jesus that question, “Who then can be saved?”. Deep down inside all of us, is this desire to work for or earn Salvation for ourselves. It’s hard to let go and let God do the saving, but that’s exactly what we’ve got to do or we CAN’T be SAVED.

  • Let go of Human Effort to be GOOD enough for Heaven.
  • Let Jesus come into your life and take away all your SINS.
  • Then His blood will cleanse you and make you FIT for Heaven.
  • It’s impossible with MEN: But it’s POSSIBLE with God.

How is it POSSIBLE?

Next Week: We’re going to be looking at “Why Jesus Came To Die?” Mark 10.

He came into this world to SAVE SINNERS.

Everyone has sinned, The Disciples knew, so they asked “Who then can be saved?”

My friends, you don’t want to wait until next week:

God’s Word tells us, “Today is the DAY of SALVATION”.

i.e. Get right with God today.

A) Confess your sins to God: How, like the Rich Young Ruler, you’ve not kept the Ten Commandments. You’ve lied, you’ve stolen, you’ve not put God first in all things, all the time. You’ve dishonoured you mum and dad. You’ve lusted and been unfaithful sometimes. You’ve coveted what your neighbour has. We’ve all done it. Everyone has broken God’s Commandments: Confess how you’ve done it to God.

B) Believe Jesus died on the Cross for all your sins:

His death was in your place. He died so that you can receive Heaven, once you Repent, Believe and Receive Him as Lord and Saviour.

C) Repent: Turn away from living a life of sin a rebellion and turn around and come to Jesus Christ to be cleansed and forgiven and renewed by Holy Spirit.

D) Receive: Receive Jesus Christ by an act of faith.

Just like you would board a plane to go on holiday. You trust the Captain knows how to get you to your destination. You RECEIVE Jesus as your Captain, He’ll take you all the way to Heaven.

More than that; you’ll receive the Holy Spirit Birth. New Life and Abundant LIFE right now.

E) Live: Become a Disciple of Jesus and live according to His teaching in fellowship with other followers. (Your Christian brothers and sisters in God’s family).

In order to do that, to live this Christian life, you’ll need: To gather regularly in worship, fellowship and receive Discipleship training from God’s Word. You’ll need to sort out your TIME and make time for daily prayer to connect with Jesus every day. You’ll need TIME: to Study and begin to practice God’s Word; daily.

You’ll get God’s HEART for others, that they might know Him too. You’ll be overflowing with a burning desire to lead others to Jesus Christ.

All of these things are indicators that you’ve really and truly been SAVED by Jesus.

You’ll also notice the Fruit of the Holy Spirit begining to ripen in your life: Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness and Self-Control.

NOTE: Passages by Way of Illustrating of these points in today’s message.

Titus 3:4-7 (NIV)
4  But when the kindness and love of God our Saviour appeared, 5  he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, 6  whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Saviour, 7  so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life.

Titus 3 shows us;

  • We can’t be saved by ‘the good things we have done’… i.e. no amount of human effort will suffice.
  • That God in His mercy saves us by REGENERATION (RENEWAL) NEW LIFE, NEW BIRTH by The Holy Spirit.
  • We are JUSTIFIED (Made right with God: Justified = Just as if I’d never sinned). How? By God’s Grace and Kindness.
  • What happens? We become heirs (inheritors) of Eternal Life (Through this faith and trust in Jesus, we can enter into the Kingdom of Heaven).

Romans 5:6-8 (NIV) We’re POWERLESS: i.e. we don’t possess the strength or ability to SAVE ourselves.
6  You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly.
7  Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die.
8  But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

Jesus died on the Cross for us, so that we can be forgiven, cleansed, set free from sin’s power, so that we can be made fit for God’s Kingdom of Heaven.

Ephesians 2:1-5 (NIV) Before We Put our faith and trust in Jesus Christ, we are DEAD in our Transgressions and Sins.
1  As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins,
2  in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air (Satan), the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient (Those who break God’s Commandments; all people).
3  All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our sinful nature and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature objects of wrath.
4  But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, 5  made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved.

Conclusion:

We’ve seen today that the Disciples discovered the impossibility of anyone being able to SAVE themselves by human effort to get into God’s Kingdom of Heaven.

We can’t SAVE ourselves, it’s impossible for a camel to fit through the eye of a needle. It’s impossible for a human being to be cleansed from sin by doing good or being religious or following the Ten Commandments.

So, it is only through God’s kindness, mercy and Grace that anyone can ever be SAVED from God’s wrath and anger against sin.

If we were to die without coming to Jesus Christ, then we would carry our sins to the Judgement. If we come to Jesus, we’ll be set free from sin, forgiven and cleansed. We’ll be born of the Spirit and receive NEW LIFE in Christ Jesus. When God sees us coming, He’ll throw open the gates of Heaven and welcome us in. Why? Not because of the good we’ve done, but because of His Son; Lord Jesus, who washed our sins away.

My friends, God has demonstrated just how much He loves everyone by sending Jesus to die for us. He doesn’t want anyone to end up in Hell or be judged because of their sins. He’s giving us all this moment in time to reflect, to repent, to return to Him. Do it right now! Don’t waste another moment of time. Get right with God today: Confess, Repent, Believe, Receive and Live. Amen!

Let us PRAY:

Have and awesome week with the LORD.

Trust Him every day and come close to Him in praise, worship, adoration. Then go out and share the Good News so that many more can come to Know HIM.

He’s alive! He wants to give your family, friends, workmates, school friends, college comrades and neighbours that NEW LIFE too.

Be blessed,

Don.

 

When the Gospel Becomes Good News

when the Gospel become Good News

Daily Spirit & Word: 787: When The Gospel Becomes Good News.

The Grinding Power of Sin.

Slaves Set Free:

Romans 6:19-22 (NIV)
19  I put this in human terms because you are weak in your natural selves. Just as you used to offer the parts of your body in slavery to impurity and to ever-increasing wickedness, so now offer them in slavery to righteousness leading to holiness.
20  When you were slaves to sin, you were free from the control of righteousness.
21  What benefit did you reap at that time from the things you are now ashamed of? Those things result in death!
22  But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves to God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life.

Good morning my friends, it was a good night of witnessing on the Streets of West Norwood last night. We gave out a few tracts, but after just a couple of minutes were were into a wonderful Gospel conversation with a lovely young couple from Madeira (Portugal). Last night I teamed up with Judy (Ben’s wife) and we just got chatting by given the couple a Million Pound Note (One of our little Gospel Tracts). I asked the young man, “If it was real, what would you do with it?” He answered, “I’d return to Portugal”. And the woman said, “I’d return to Madeira”. I said, “WOW, that’s really interesting, why Madeira?” They said, “Life in Madeira compared to London is like heaven”. I said, “Here’s what we’re about tonight, do you believe in Heaven?” They both said, “Not really, we don’t think about Heaven as a place”… I said, “Do you believe in God?” They answered “No, not really”… I was intrigued and asked a few more questions about their beliefs. It turns out, they both had to attend religious education in Madeira until they were twelve, that was the tradition in Madeira. They attended church, but as soon as they were twelve years old they were free from the burdens of religious observance.

So I opened up the ‘Spiritual’ conversation again with, “Madeira is reputed to have some of the oldest people on the planet, some people live to well into their hundreds.” The woman, Tatiana, knew a woman who’d died at 119 years old. I continued, “If you live to 120 years, then you die, if Heaven is real, where will you go? Heaven or Hell?” They both stated, “Well I’m a good person, so if heaven is real, I’ll definitely go there”. It’s amazing, because we know from experience that most people believe what Tatiana and Pedro do, that ‘good people’ go to heaven and bad people go to hell. Also, that most people believe they are the good ones, and if Heaven is real they will be good enough.

I asked, “We’ve got a little test that shows you immediately if you’d be good enough for Heaven” I gave them both one of our Ten Commandment Coins. They took it and said, “WOW this is nice”… I said, “You can keep it, it’s yours. Now the Ten Commandments are like a mirror, they show a person the condition of their soul on the inside.” They both remembered the Ten Commandments from their childhood teachings. I asked both of them, “The Commandments say, ‘Don’t tell lies’, Have you ever told a lie?” They both admitted readily that they’d told lies. We got into a conversation about lying, and agreed that almost everybody has told at least one lie, even me and Judy 🙂 But they didn’t see the seriousness of lying. I asked, “How many lies do I have to tell to become a Liar?” They said, “Just one”. “That’s right” I said, “It only takes one lie to make a person a liar, but did you know that just one lie will keep you out of heaven for all eternity?” They said, “Then nobody is going to be in Heaven”… (Isn’t that sobering? The fact that nobody will go to heaven if they died in their sins?”)

Here’s the next one; “Have you ever stolen anything?” They both said, “When we were kids”, but then went onto admit they’d also taken things that didn’t belong to them as adults. Pedro had nicked from his mother’s purse. Tatiana had stolen music on the internet. However, neither of them saw the seriousness of their crime before God, yet 🙂  I said, “Are you aware the Bible teaches that no thief can enter into the Kingdom of God?”

Here’s the next one; “Pedro and Tatiana, you’ve both been really honest so far, but have you always honoured your mum and dad?” Family honour is very important in Portugal, they both said, “We’d never dishonour our mum and dad, but I took them back over the commands they’d already admitted and said, “Stealing and lying to your mum and dad, that’s dishonourable don’t you think?” They both nodded in shame. But the Bible teaches that when we dishonour our mum and dad, we’re cut off from the Kingdom forever.

So I asked, “That’s just three of the commandments, if God were to Judge you by that standard, would you go to Heaven or Hell?” They said, “Hell”… Then we got into a conversation about the after-life again and what they really believed. I brought it back after a few minutes, “but suppose it is real, Heaven and Hell, wouldn’t you want to make sure you’d be on your way to Heaven? You see Pedro and Tatiana, God doesn’t want to send a single soul to Hell forever, He did something 2000 years ago to give people the chance of going to Heaven, do you know what that was?”. They didn’t know, so I asked, “Have you heard about Jesus?” They both clicked, “Jesus was God come down to Earth to show us how to live a good life”… Then I asked, “How did Jesus die?” It was like turning a light on in a dark room. Pedro and Tatiana said, “He died for our sins”… “It’s not enough to know that Jesus died for sins” I explained, “To get forgiven and cleansed from our sins so that we’ll be fit for heaven, we’ll need to do something, do you know what that is?” They both said, “Repent and ask for forgiveness”… I said, “Yes that’s right, but there’s more. Everyone need to believe and trust in Jesus Christ, receive Him as Lord (Boss of their life), and ask for forgiveness, trusting that Jesus died for their own sins. Does that make sense to you?”

I asked them, (they both work in the Catering industry), if you took a delivery of chicken and one piece of chicken was rotten, would you put it in the fridge beside the good chicken?” They both said, “No, we’d throw it out,” I asked, “Why? Why would you throw out that rotten piece of chicken?” They said, “Because it would contaminate the rest of the chicken”. I explained, “That’s exactly why God will not let anyone who dies in their sins; lying, stealing etc into His Holy Heaven, because our sins would contaminate His Holy Heaven”… They both said, “Then nobody is going to Heaven”… I said, “That’s right, unless they repent and turn in faith to the Lord Jesus Christ, who died for their sins on the Cross and receive Him as their Lord and Saviour”…

PRAYER:

You know my friends, Pedro and Tatiana both thanked us last night. We encouraged them to read the Bible and see if what we were telling them was the truth. We asked them to come to church. We said we’d be prepared to meet-up with them again and pray and read the Bible over a coffee. But I encouraged them, “Don’t leave it too long before you turn to Jesus”… They walked away chatting together.

It’s not enough to just proclaim the Gospel, we’ve got to try and help people to understand it, that takes time, love, care, gentleness, humour, but above all boldness to bring the conversation back to the most important topic, their eternal destiny. I thank the Lord for Pedro and Tatiana, will you pray for them, that they’ll both come to the point of receiving Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour? We had a good laugh, but always got back to the seriousness of their spiritual condition. It’s amazing, but once people understand the Gospel, they are either thankful or disturbed. Pedro and Tatiana had never heard the Gospel explained or why Jesus died on the Cross like that before. Can you see the desperate need there is, to take time with folks and love them enough to share Jesus’ message of Good News?

Now, their God given Conscience will go to work, it will do it’s job of showing them their sins again (How? Because the Law of God brings light to the soul, it awakens the Conscience ), the Holy Spirit will use the Gospel to draw them to faith and trust in Jesus Christ.

WHY USE THE TEN COMMANDMENTS?

Some people ask us, “Why don’t you just talk about the love of God and Grace? Why do you keep going on about the Commandments?” Well, if I was to just tell someone they are a sinner without explaining why, they’d be offended. It’s offensive to just say, “We’ve all sinned and fall short of the glory of God” because most people don’t think they have, most people don’t know the seriousness of their sins. We’ve found that about 90% of people think they a good enough for Heaven. So we need to show a person just how serious sin is, before they’ll even consider listening to the Good News. The good news only makes sense when we see the seriousness of our condition without a Saviour.

Here’s the reason why we use the LAW (Ten Commandments) when sharing the Gospel with folks: It awakens the Conscience: “we become conscious of sin”… In other words, we see the seriousness of our sinful condition by opening up God’s law.

Romans 3:19-20 (NIV)
19  Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be silenced and the whole world held accountable to God. 20  Therefore no-one will be declared righteous in his sight by observing the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of sin.

Charles Spurgeon said: Concerning The Law (Ten Commandments).

  1. The first use of the law is to manifest to man his guilt.

When God intends to save a man, the first thing he does with him is to send the law to him, to show him how guilty, how vile, how ruined he is, and in how dangerous a position. You see that man lying there on the edge of the precipice; he is sound asleep, and just on the perilous verge of the cliff. One single movement, and he will roll over and be broken in pieces on the jagged rocks beneath, and nothing more shall be heard of him. How is he to be saved? What shall be done for him—what shall be done! It is our position; we, too, are lying on the brink of ruin, but we are insensible of it. God, when he begins to save us from such an imminent danger, sendeth his law, which, with a stout kick, rouses us up, makes us open our eyes, we look down on our terrible danger, discover our miseries, and then it is we are in a right position to cry out for salvation, and our salvation comes to us. The law acts with man as the physician does when he takes the film from the eye of the blind. Self-righteous men are blind men, though they think themselves good and excellent. The law takes that film away, and lets them discover how vile they are, and how utterly ruined and condemned if they are to abide under the sentence of the law.

Instead, however, of treating this doctrinally, I shall treat it practically, and come home to each of your consciences. My, hearer, does not the law of God convince you of sin this morning? Under the hand of God’s Spirit does it not make you feel that you have been guilty, that you deserve to be lost, that you have incurred the fierce anger of God? Look ye here, have ye not broken these ten commandments; even in the letter have ye not broken them? Who is there among you who hath always honored his father and mother? Who is there among us who hath always spoken the truth? Have we not sometimes borne false witness against our neighbor? Is there one person here who has not made unto himself another God, and loved himself, or his business, or his friends, more than he has Jehovah, the God of the whole earth? Which of you hath not coveted your neighbour’s house, or his man-servant, or his ox, or his ass? We are all guilty with regard to every letter of the law; we have all of us transgressed the commandments. And if we really understood these commandments, and felt that they condemned us, they would have this useful influence on us of showing us our danger, and so of leading us to fly to Christ. But, my hearers, does not this law condemn you, because even if you should say you have not broken the letter of it, yet you have violated the spirit of it. What, though you have never killed, yet we are told, he that is angry with his brother is a murderer. As a negro said once, “Sir, I thought me no kill—me innocent there; but when I heard that he that hateth his brother is a murderer, then me cry guilty, for me have killed twenty men before breakfast very often, for I have been angry with many of them very often.” This law does not only mean what it says in words, but it has deep things hidden in its bowels. It says, “Thou shalt not commit adultery,” but it means, as Jesus has it, “He that looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.” It says, “Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain,” it meaneth that we should reverence God in every place, and have his fear before our eyes, and should always pay respect unto his ordinances and evermore walk in his fear and love. Ay, my brethren, surely there is not one here so fool-hardy in self-righteousness as to say, “I am innocent.” The spirit of the law condemns us. And this is its useful property; it humbles us, makes us know we are guilty, and so are we led to receive the Saviour.

http://www.romans45.org/spurgeon/sermons/0128.htm

We saw that this is exactly right, it happened last night, when we opened up the law with Pedro and Tatiana, they soon stopped trying to justify themselves and wanted to know what they could do to be saved from the consequences of the law.

The Grinding Power Of Sin: Samson was in PRISON:

Judges 16:20-22 (NIV)
20  Then she called, “Samson, the Philistines are upon you!” He awoke from his sleep and thought, “I’ll go out as before and shake myself free.” But he did not know that the LORD had left him.
21  Then the Philistines seized him, gouged out his eyes and took him down to Gaza. Binding him with bronze shackles, they set him to grinding in the prison.
22  But the hair on his head began to grow again after it had been shaved.

He was blinded, bound and made to grind the corn for God’s enemies.

That’s the condition of everyone who lives with sin in their life, until they are set free by the LORD Jesus Christ. Sin blinds, it binds and it makes us grind. Life is worth living to the full, but life like Samson’s is; darkness, slavery and drudgery. Until we’re set free by the LORD Jesus Christ.

The prison is a place of blinding, binding and grinding!

Grinding was considered to be woman’s work, this added to Samson’s humiliation.

Here is the point; Samson was born to be a liberator. He was raised up by God to lead the people of God out of bondage. He was given power so that he might use his energy for the glory of the Lord. But, here is the mighty judge of Israel, blinded, bound and grinding corn for the enemies of God. (Note: That is the power of sin! It will rob you of your power and leave you with nothing with which to serve God. There will be no time, no energy and no interest in the things of God. Your life will be dominated by the grinding power of sin.)

My friends, share the Gospel with the folks you love.

Get full of God’s love and you’ll want to set others free.

Their condition, as Charles Spurgeon has so eloquently put it, is perilous. They are on the cliff-edge, in danger of God’s judgement and hell. If anyone dies in their sins, they’ll receive God’s wrath against sin. Let’s set as many free by going, by showing, by loving them into God’s Kingdom family. Amen!

Be blessed today and stay close to Jesus in the power of the Holy Spirit. Amen!

Don.

 

You can read or listen to Hell’s Best Kept Secret by Ray Comfort.

or even watch it below:

 

Who’s That Knocking At My Door?

When Jesus calls us, it's to repentance and faith in Him alone

Daily Spirit & Word: 776: Who’s that knocking at my door.

Good morning friends, I was awakened by a strange noise in the house this morning at 4.30am. It startled me out of a weird dream. In the dream I was back in Plymouth and some kind of strange earthquake was happening, I saw a bus falling over on it’s side and buildings shaking and some falling to the ground. People had their mobile phones out taking pictures to capture the scene and share on social media. Do you know what that noise was that woke me? It was a knocking at my door, but when I got to the door there was no one there. I was up now so decided to read some of God’s Word and this is what I read.

Romans 10:16-21 (NIV)
16  But not all the Israelites accepted the good news. For Isaiah says, “Lord, who has believed our message?”
17  Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ.
18  But I ask: Did they not hear? Of course they did: “Their voice has gone out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world.”
19  Again I ask: Did Israel not understand? First, Moses says, “I will make you envious by those who are not a nation; I will make you angry by a nation that has no understanding.”
20  And Isaiah boldly says, “I was found by those who did not seek me; I revealed myself to those who did not ask for me.”
21  But concerning Israel he says, “All day long I have held out my hands to a disobedient and obstinate people.”
Who’s That Knocking At My Door?

If “faith comes by hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ” then why didn’t the Israelites respond? Who knows, but they didn’t.

Then follows a series of question from Paul: “DID THE ISRAELITES HEAR THE MESSAGE?”

He answers each time with “Of course they did, but they REJECTED it”…

When someone is knocking at your door what do you do?

  • Do you sit there and ignore it?
  • Do you get up and listen at the door to what they have to say?
  • Do you open the door to the one with the message?

It’s The Insurance Man

Years ago my mum and dad had an insurance policy, the man would call around to collect the insurance money every week. There were quite a few times that my mum didn’t have any money to pay the installments, so she’d tell us to hide and stay quiet until the man goes away. The man would be knocking at the door. He’d be shouting through the letterbox “It’s the Insurance Man”… We didn’t dare move a muscle. I’ve been scared of Insurance Men since I was a child 🙂 LOL A few times the man could hear there were obviously people in the house, because you can’t keep seven kids quiet for very long. Or sometimes they’d pretend to go away and then once we’d all started talking the letterbox would fly open and he’d shout, “I can hear you in there, open the door”…

My friends, those Israelites didn’t open the doors of their hearts to God.

He called upon them many times and in so many different ways.

They might have been there listening to the message, but they didn’t respond.

Isaiah tells us, “All day long I have held out my hands to a disobedient and obstinate people”…

God is also holding out his holy hands to you today.

He’s calling you with the Good News of Jesus; “Come to me” said Jesus.

Jesus is not an Insurance Salesman, but He’s offering freely to each and every soul “Eternal Assurance: You can be SAVED from Hell if you’ll just repent and trust in Me”…

When we hear the Good News and don’t respond, it’s like knowing someone is at the door with a message that is so important for us, but we’ve got to open the door to respond to that message.

  • It’s no good knowing Jesus can save you, if you don’t respond in faith and receive Him as your Lord and Saviour.
  • It’s no good knowing Jesus died for sin, if you don’t trust in Him and His death on the cross was for your sins.
  • It’s no good knowing Jesus was raised from the dead and believing it all to be true, if you will not repent of your sins and receive Him into your life.

He’s knocking every day, but have you opened up the door of your heart to Jesus?

Be Earnest And Repent

Revelation 3:19-22 (NIV)
19  Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest, and repent.
20  Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me.
21  To him who overcomes, I will give the right to sit with me on my throne, just as I overcame and sat down with my Father on his throne.
22  He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”
Jesus is knocking my friends, so open up the door of your heart afresh today.

If there’s something in your life at this moment more precious to you than Jesus, you need to let go of it, because there’s NOTHING, nothing, absolutely nothing, that’s more important than your eternal welfare.

Once you open that door to Jesus, then and only then, will all His promises be yours: Abundant life (John 10:10), New Birth (John 1:12, 3:1-22).

Who’s That Knocking At Your Door?

It’s Jesus Christ: Open the door of your heart to Him today: Be earnest (sincere, heartfelt, solemn, clear,) and repent: Turn from living your life your way and begin to walk in the power of the Holy Spirit by turning to Jesus for forgiveness, cleansing and new life. Amen!

Have an awesome weekend.

Don.

 

Sitting At A Table

Faith Sharing on the Streets of London

Daily Spirit & Word: 775: Sitting at a table chatting…

Hearing The Good News

Romans 10:17 (NIV) “Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ.”

Imagine you’re sitting at a table with a friend you’ve not seen for years and two men come up to you and begin to talk about Jesus? Well that’s what happened last night outside Knowles of Norwood Pub in West Norwood, London.

Knowles of Norwood Pub, West Norwood. London.
Knowles of Norwood Pub, West Norwood. London.

As we were walking along sharing the Good News with folks last night (27th July 2016), we came to Knowles of Norwood. The pavement is wide and there are tables outside for customers to sit and have a nice drink. We got chatting with a few customers and we were able shar the Gospel with two men, then moved along to the next table and began to chat with another two. They were smartly dressed professional looking gentlemen. We gave them a Ticket to Heaven tract and asked them if they believed in Heaven. One did, but the other said he wasn’t sure there was a heaven or even a God. We got chatting about the possibility and he said, “I’m agnostic”, we then said, “Oh, you’ll love our Atheist Test then”… We gave them one and began chatting through the test, but they politely said, “We’ve not seen each other in a long time and we’re here just to catch-up tonight”. We apologised for the interruption, but my companion David said, “That’s OK gents, we’ll be back in about half an hour, if you’re ready to talk then, we can chat”… We heard them laughing out loud as we walked away.

So we went down the road, sharing Jesus with a few more folks, having great Gospel conversations along the way. As we turned around and proceeded back towards the table about 3/4 of an hour later, they were still seated chatting away. We asked them, “Have you caught up now? We’re back with Jesus”… They laughed and one said, “You know guys, my mum is a Born Again Christian, and she’s been praying for and trying to convert me for ages. I’ll definitely read all this stuff you’ve given me”… We’d given them three different tracts, one Ten Commandment Coin and a “Thank you for chatting” card. I replied, “Perhaps this is Jesus wake-up call, we don’t know how much time we’ve got left: The BIBLE is Basic Instruction Before Leaving Earth: read that too, God bless you guys”… As we walked away I heard the Agnostic saying to his friend, “Those guys are persistent and funny”…

We met another man called Mark, he’d recently come over from Jamaica and we could see conviction coming over him as we shared. He knew the Gospel, said he believed in Jesus and knew all about the choice he needed to make, but was not ready yet. When we asked why, he said, “I don’t really know”. Then we asked, “Is there anything we can pray for?” He said, “I need a job, I’ve been looking for ages but can’t find work”… We prayed right there on the streets for him that the LORD would direct him to a job and that he would glorify God when he saw this answered prayer. When I asked him, “Do you own a Bible?” He said, “Yes and I read it most days”… I said, “That’s fantastic, do you know the Lord will be speaking to you through His Word?”… He said, “He definitely does”… Praise the LORD!

You know my friends, sharing the Gospel of Jesus can be; fun, friendly, full of faith and Spiritually forceful.

A Person is SAVED by: Believing in Jesus and by Confessing Him as LORD, but they can only do that once they’ve heard the whole Gospel of Jesus Christ. However, FAITH comes by Hearing the Good News. 

Romans 10:7-15 (NIV)
7  “or ‘Who will descend into the deep?’ ” (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead).
8  But what does it say? “The word is near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart,” that is, the word of faith we are proclaiming:
9  That if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.
10  For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.
11  As the Scripture says, “Anyone who trusts in him will never be put to shame.”
12  For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile—the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him,
13  for, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”
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?
15  And how can they preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!”

Romans 10:17 (NIV) “Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ.”

We’ve got to leave some things up to the LORD, because He said that “Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of the Lord”… Pray that He’ll continue to draw these three men to himself by the Holy Spirit, pray that everyone we shared with last night might be TRANSFORMED by the renewing of their minds, hearts and wills. Amen!

I’m praying for you all too, those of you who know Jesus Christ as Lord! That you will be active in sharing your faith in Jesus with those who don’t yet know Him as Lord. Don’t give up, be persistent, be persuasive, trust in the LORD that once you’ve shared the Good News, He will continue to draw people to Himself. Remember, faith comes by hearing the Good News, but we’ve got to go out and be obedient to Jesus command to share it.

Don.

 

The LAW and The Promises of God.

Christians are set free from sin and the law through faith in Jesus.

Daily Spirit & Word: 756: The Law and The Promise.

The Law was our overseer, instructor and tutor, until FAITH came through Jesus Christ.

FREEDOM IN CHRIST JESUS.

Good morning my friends, today I’ve been reading in the Bible about an Tutor / Instructor / Schoolmaster, a person who’s been “put in charge” of children. Imagine being held captive by a stern guardian. Like being locked up in a School with a Schoolmaster: Telling you to do stuff that’s beyond your ability to do. For most people that would be hell. I’d hate being told to do something, and being shouted at, because I can’t do it. That’s what the LAW of God is like: A stern schoolmaster, shouting out Ten Commandments, that we just can’t keep, because we’re SLAVES to sin. Well, there’s good news. No, I’ll go even further, GREAT NEWS. There’s great news because we can be set free to live according to God’s Holy Standards through FAITH in Christ Jesus. HOW?

But, as we’ll see HOW today, The Schoolmaster the Bible is talking about is God’s LAW (Summarised in the Ten Commandments). The function / purpose of God’s Law was to look after us and show us God’s standard until Christ should come and give us something better to oversee us: Faith in Jesus opens us up to a much better guide than the written law; the indwelling Holy Spirit, who reveals God’s way, through our Conscience. Awesome!

Romans 3:19-20 (NIV)
19 Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be silenced and the whole world held accountable to God. 20 Therefore no-one will be declared righteous in his sight by observing the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of sin.

Galatians 3:19-25 (NIV)
19 What, then, was the purpose of the law? It was added because of transgressions until the Seed (Jesus Christ) to whom the promise referred had come. The law was put into effect through angels by a mediator (Moses). 20 A mediator, however, does not represent just one party; but God is one. 21 Is the law, therefore, opposed to the promises of God? Absolutely not! For if a law had been given that could impart life, then righteousness would certainly have come by the law. 22 But the Scripture declares that the whole world is a prisoner of sin, so that what was promised, being given through faith in Jesus Christ, might be given to those who believe. 23 Before this faith came, we were held prisoners by the law, locked up until faith should be revealed. 24 So the law was put in charge (Paidagogos: Tutor, Instructor, Schoolmaster) to lead us to Christ that we might be justified by faith. 25 Now that faith has come, we are no longer under the supervision of the law.

Once we get FAITH: To believe and put our trust in Jesus for our Salvation, we are SET FREE from the PRISON of the LAW: from the instruction / oversight of the Law of God. We are under a NEW Tutor: The Holy Spirit. He will guide us and show us God’s ways. He’ll never contradict God’s Law, but will impart the power to live according to it in FREEDOM.

 

Live in the Spirit.

What is the purpose of the Law?

Galatians 3:19-25 (NIV)
19  What, then, was the purpose of the law? It was added because of transgressions until the Seed (Jesus Christ) to whom the promise referred had come. The law was put into effect through angels by a mediator.
20  A mediator, however, does not represent just one party; but God is one.
21  Is the law, therefore, opposed to the promises of God? Absolutely not! For if a law had been given that could impart life, then righteousness would certainly have come by the law. (But it couldn’t impart life, nor did it have any power to make us righteous, it was only added because of transgressions / sin).
22  But the Scripture declares that the whole world is a prisoner of sin, so that what was promised, being given through faith in Jesus Christ, might be given to those who believe.
23  Before this faith came, we were held prisoners by the law, locked up until faith should be revealed.
24  So the law was put in charge (paidagogos: tutor / schoolmaster /instructor) to lead us to Christ that we might be justified by faith.
25  Now that faith has come, we are no longer under the supervision of the law.

The Key Verse: Galatians 3:22 “But the Scripture declares that the whole world is a prisoner of sin…”

What an amazing statement in the Bible: The WHOLE WORLD (Every single soul) is a PRISONER OF SIN, until they are SET FREE by faith in Jesus Christ.

So the reason God has given us the Law (10 Commandments) is so that we can KNOW (Be instructed by the Schoolmaster: the Law) and how we can be SET FREE through FAITH in Jesus Christ.

In Verse 24 “So the law was put in charge to lead us to Christ that we might be justified by faith.”

(We don’t have an equivalent English word for the term translated here, “Put in Charge”. The Greek word is “paidagogos” The KJV translates it as “Schoolmaster”, but the Greek word is referring to a Servant in a rich household who looked after and educated a child until the child was educated enough to go onto further education away from home at a school: Rather than “Put in Charge” NIV, I think “Schoolmaster” is a more accurate translation. In recent history in the UK the very rich had household Schoolmasters / Tutors who’d educate young children until they could attend school). So the LAW was only put in charge of us, until faith came along, that faith is in Christ Jesus, and once we’ve got that faith, we are no longer under the care, supervision and instruction of the Law.

Interestingly we have English words that a so similar to this Greek word:  paidagogos: Paediatrician, Paediatric: The care and treatment by a Specialist “Called a Paediatrician” for infants and children.

WOWzer! The LAW (Summarised in the Ten Commandments) was give because of Sin and Transgression.

Does the Bible tell us that in another place? It’s good to see if this teaching is consistent with the rest of Scripture.

Romans 3:19-20 (NIV)
19  Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be silenced and the whole world held accountable to God. 20  Therefore no-one will be declared righteous in his sight by observing the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of sin.

WOW: It does. In Romans 3:19 we see it again, “it says to those who are ‘under’ the law” (Under: Under the Paidagogos (care and supervision) of the Law).

  • We are under the law: Held prisoner by the law: Until FAITH comes to our hearts to set us free.
  • We cannot be SAVED by trying our best.
  • We cannot be SAVED by trying to live according to the Law or the Ten Commandments.
  • All that effort will show us is that we cannot be good enough for God. We can’t stop SINNING until we’re set FREE from the Slavery to sin. Sin is our master until we’re set free by Jesus Christ, through Faith in Jesus Christ.

A MIRROR: When you get up in the morning, you look at your face in the mirror, sometimes to remove any dirt or smears. Make sure you wash the toothpaste off 🙂 The Bible like the Mirror: We look into the Commandments of God and we see that we are dirty sinners, we’ve all broken God’s Holy Standard. However, the mirror can’t clean your face, it only shows you the dirt. The LAW cannot clean away your sins, it only shows you the condition of your heart. The Sin Within. Nothing you can do can remove those stains of sin. No amount of effort will wash your soul clean from sin. No amount of sorrow for sin (we should be sorry), but sorrow itself cannot remove sin. Some people say to me “I say sorry to God for my sin”. That’s good, you should be sorry, but being sorry will not remove your sin. Only DEATH will remove your sin. Jesus died so that you don’t have to.

1 Peter 3:18 (NIV) “For Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive by the Spirit,” i.e. the righteous Jesus died for the unrighteous me / you. We were sinners and Jesus died in our place upon the Cross.

The LAW was given so that we could see our need for Jesus.

Will you put your faith and trust in Jesus Christ today? Stop trying to be good enough in your own strength and trust in the goodness / righteousness of Jesus Christ. Once you believe the Gospel, the Good News, you will be SAVED. Put your faith and trust in Jesus alone for your own Salvation from Sin. Nothing else will ever remove the stain of sin, revealed by the Ten Commandments and your guilty conscience can be set free by Jesus. Awesome.

Repent and Believe the Good News.

The PROMISE: The promises of God are better than the Law of God: We are able to be righteous through faith in Jesus Christ, a righteousness that couldn’t ever be possible by trying to keep God’s law. Thank the LORD for His awesome promises. Thank the LORD for Jesus Christ who has set us FREE. Amen.

My friends, have you been set FREE?

Don.

#FantasticFriday #GoodNews #GreatNews #BreakingNews #Faith #Jesus #Christian #Teaching #Law #Commandments #Promise #LawandPromise

 

Winning The Hard Hearts

winning the hard-hearted to Jesus Christ

Daily Spirit & Word: 755: Winning The Hard Hearts.

What Does it Take to Awaken The Desire For God?

Almost Persuaded:

Acts 26:24-29 (NIV) Paul’s Testimony Before King Agripa and Festus. 
24  At this point Festus interrupted Paul’s defence. “You are out of your mind, Paul!” he shouted. “Your great learning is driving you insane.”
25  “I am not insane, most excellent Festus,” Paul replied. “What I am saying is true and reasonable.
26  The king is familiar with these things, and I can speak freely to him. I am convinced that none of this has escaped his notice, because it was not done in a corner.
27  King Agrippa, do you believe the prophets? I know you do.”
28  Then Agrippa said to Paul, “Do you think that in such a short time you can persuade me to be a Christian?”
29  Paul replied, “Short time or long—I pray God that not only you but all who are listening to me today may become what I am, except for these chains.”

Good morning my friends, I’ve been reflecting upon our outreach over the last few weeks. A couple of weeks ago we took some American girls out with us to share the Good News of Jesus and Jackie, who was with me, was so struck by the Apathy and Cynicism she encountered from the people of London. She found it really hard and felt their pain. She said, “They need a breakthrough, they need to know there is a God”… She was particularly struck by one man’s response, “If there is a God, then I don’t care”… It was a bit like what King Agrippa said to Paul, “Do you think that in such a short time you can persuade me to be a Christian?”

What is it that makes a soul so hard to reach?

We’re often perplexed as Jackie was, we wonder what makes people so hard to reach for Jesus.

The Bible has lots of answers to that question, “Sin, hard-heartedness, rebellion, Satan, doubt, spiritual blindness, spiritual deafness, fear, love of the world, lack of faith,” However, the Bible also makes it clear that it’s the LORD who draws people to Himself and He does so through His Church. Not the church buildings but the church people, you and me. He’s told us clearly what will awaken a sin soaked and hard hearted soul from their slumber; it’s the Gospel the Good News itself that will produce the much needed faith to believe in God, to believe in Jesus and to believe that this life is not all there is.

But before we can preach the Good News to anyone, we’ve got to plough-up the rough ground of their heart to get them ready for the good seed of the Gospel, we can do that with something sharp and hard to break open that hard-heart soil. Thankfully God has also provided a way for us to do that too: through the right use His law. It’s the LAW of God, the Ten Commandments that will reveal to a person their NEED of Jesus. Remember though, we can’t be SAVED by the law, it just makes us aware of God’s High Heavenly Standard and how far we’ve all fallen short of it.

Romans 3:20 (NIV)  “Therefore no-one will be declared righteous in his sight by observing the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of sin.” (The Law Awakens The Conscience).

Galatians 3:24-26 (KJV)  Schoolmaster Teaches:
24  Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.
25  But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster.
26  For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.  

There’s another function of God’s Law; It also awakens the sin-seared conscience, because repeated sin tends to deaden the conscience and God gives people over to whatever their heart’s desire. If you want to sin, then God will let you, but you’ll pay the consequences afterwards.

Once we’ve prepared the heart, just as Jesus did, then a person will be ready to hear the Good News.

Not always immediate though, as we’ve seen with King Agrippa, “Do you think that in such a short time you can persuade me to become a Christian?” Sometimes it takes repeated exposure to the high standards of God’s moral code, before a person realises “it’s impossible to be good enough in my own strength to get to Heaven.” The Law of God, the Ten Commandments bring a knowledge of sin and awaken our conscience once again.

But eventually, and hopefully, the heart will be prepared for the sowing of the good seed of God’s Word into the softened ground of their hearts. Faith comes by hearing and understanding the Good News. It’s not just preaching it, but helping someone understand the good news.

The POWER to SAVE: Comes through PRAYER.

We can do all of that good work for the Lord though and still lack the power to save, because one key ingredient the Lord has provided is lacking; PRAYER… We must be praying for those we want to bring to Jesus. We know that it’s by His Spirit that He’ll lead men to Christ, He does this through the proclamation of the Gospel, that is how they’ll get faith, but the power comes when we first connect with the Saviour ourselves for those we want to introduce Him. Without prayer, without fellowship with Jesus, we’re going to remain powerless to win a single convert to Him. Didn’t Jesus say, “Apart from Me you can do nothing”.  Jesus longs for you to spend quality time with Himself. He often went off to lonely places just to be with the Father. It would have been so easy for Jesus to make excuses, “I’m too tired”, “I’ve been healing all day and I’m exhausted”, but look through the Gospels and you’ll notice that when Jesus went to pray, something amazing always happened the very next day or even immediately.

We can reason it out my friends, if Jesus needed to pray and seek the Father’s will and spend time with His Father in Heaven, then so do we. I’m just so thankful that Jesus chose ordinary folks to be His closest Disciples, because when they saw Jesus praying and what happened as a result, they asked Him, “Lord, teach us to pray”… They knew, when Jesus went off to pray, something awesome is about to happen soon and they wanted it too. Jesus Followers eventually got it my friends, look through Acts and you’ll notice something AWESOME: Whenever the Believers, followers of Jesus prayed, something fantastic happened: Prison doors flew open, Angels appeared, earthquakes, shaking ground, freedom, power, people coming to faith, etc etc… It’s PRAYER and connecting with Jesus, that’s the KEY to unlocking Heaven’s Power on Earth.

Have you got someone you know who needs Jesus? Do they seem closed to the Gospel? Well, when was the last time you spent an hour or two with Jesus just for them? Bringing their whole life to Jesus in prayer; their thoughts, feelings, hurts, anger, hatred, hard-heartedness, stubborn refusal to believe, rebellion against God, indifference, cynicism, fears, failings, arguments, etc, etc, bring it all to Jesus in prayer.  When you do, you will come to understand that Jesus loves them even more than you do. You’ll see that Father God’s heart is that they come to repentance and faith in His Son Jesus. God wants to SAVE your friends, but He wants you to want that just as much as He does. We will only get the Father’s Heart when we spend time with Him in prayer. So I’ve come to see that it’s not just knowing the Father’s Heart, but also getting his heart’s desire for ourselves.

You’ve heard the saying, “Bad company corrupts good character” well the opposite is just as true; “Good company changes bad character”. When we’re with the LORD regularly, He’s GOOD, then our own character will become even more like His.

After Spending Time Praying: Then it’s TIME FOR AWESOME 🙂 You’re going to see Him doing awesome, amazing and exciting things in the lives of those you’ve brought to Jesus in prayer.

Keep praying, don’t stop, don’t give up just because you don’t get immediate results. Be persistent. Sometimes when we’re about to get a breakthrough, we’ve give up. When God’s about to move in power, we’ve moved on. Oh My friends, don’t give up on your friends, because God didn’t give up on you. Remember again how stubborn you were before you finally accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour. Extend the same grace to your loved one and those you are trying to win to Jesus.

Keep praying, Keep sharing, Keep going for Jesus.

So here’s how to break open the hard-hearted, sin-soaked souls for Jesus.

  1.  Prayer, bring them to Jesus first in prayer. 2 Cor 10:3-5 Get equipped yourself by Jesus and the power of the Holy Spirit. John 15, Ephesians 6:10-20.
  2.  Preparation of their Hearts: Law to the proud (get their hearts ready for the Gospel).
  3.  Gospel: Grace to the Humble / Humbled. Once a person is ready for the Good News of Jesus, they’ll gladly hear the answer to their dilemma.

Once a hard-heart has been softened by the spade-work of the law, and they’ve stopped trying to justify themselves, then they are ready for the Good News, so give them the Good News of Jesus.

This is the Way of the Master: The LORD Jesus Christ. That’s what you’ll see Jesus doing in the Gospels time and time again. Jesus was showing / instructing and preparing His Disciples how to win people to God. He set a good example and then commanded them to do it, being obedient to ALL that He had taught them.

THE NEED FOR GOD AWAKENED.

There is the sense of need in every heart, but most often people are meeting their needs in worldly ways. They long for something, and think the answer lies in what this world has to offer. That deep hunger and longing has been placed in their hearts by God. “Deep calls to Deep”…

For a long time a man may live the routine of life half asleep; then all of a sudden there comes some completely insolvable problem, some quite unanswerable question, some overpowering temptation, some struggling in an effort to be good, which he feels is beyond his strength or capacity to achieve. In that day there is nothing left to do but to cry out, “Heaven SAVE me”, “There must be more to life than this”… And that sense of unmet, ungratified, unsatisfied need awakens the soul to it’s deepest need, the need for God.

Our friends, neighbours and family members in this world are desperately hungry spiritually. They might not articulate it, but we can observe their hunger when we watch what the spend their precious time, money and efforts trying to get.  We know the things of this world bring soul satisfaction for a short time, but because it doesn’t last, and the hunger doesn’t go away, they keep looking and trying to fill and satisfy it with the wrong things, the things of this world. My friends, we’ve got what they desperately need, so we need many more of God’s people to get a desire to share what we have with them.

We can’t do it in our own strength, we cannot awaken or persuade any soul, only the HOLY SPIRIT can do that my friends. So pray, prepare the heart, preach the Gospel and pray again. Then stand back and watch the LORD do His awesome work of bringing precious souls to Himself. Amen.

It might be a trickle at first, but then the flood of awakening will come. I believe that many thousands will come to see their need of Jesus.

We’re going out again tonight to share the Good News of Jesus on the streets with some of those hungry people, we’re meeting this morning to pray and spend time with Jesus for them. Amen!

8.00am Prayer Gathering.

5.00pm Gathering to go out and share the Good News.

You can do it to: Pray, Prepare, Share and Lead them to Jesus. That’s a little like a P,P,S 🙂

Don.

 

Springboards into the Heart

Faith Sharing on the Streets of London. Learn the Way of the Master

Daily Spirit & Word: 750: Springboards into the Heart

When the Commands of the LORD are esteemed in your heart, you’ll be PROTECTED.

Proverbs 6:23 (NIV) “For these commands are a lamp, this teaching is a light, and the corrections of discipline are the way to life, …”

Good morning my friends, what an awesome evening of faith sharing through the streets of West Norwood last night. It was tough to get into conversation, but WOWzer! When we did, the LORD was already moving. We pray that He’ll be drawing folks to Himself before we go out and share, we’re commanded to broadcast the seed, like the Parable of the Sower. We do it by testing the waters and offering tracts to almost everyone walking past us. It’s a bit like the fishermen fly fishing with a lure, making the lure dance over the surface of the water to attract the fish. Some just take a tract and say nothing, others refuse and rush on, but some take a tract and ask, “What is this?” We respond;

“It’s a £1,000,000 note, if it was real, what would you do with it?”

When we ask people questions like that, it’s fun, they can use their imaginations, they are comfortable, they’ll reveal their heart’s desires and you’ll get to know if they are open to going further.

  • “It’s a Ticket to Heaven, do you believe in Heaven?”
  • “It’s a Ten Commandment Coin, have you heard of the Ten Commandments?”
  • “It’s a …………?

We’ve got lots of little tracts, but each one is just a springboard. You know what a Springboard is don’t you? We had them at our swimming pool and as a boy I’d spend hours jumping up and down, trying to get higher and higher, then finally plunging into the pool. In the same way we use these tracts as a spring-board, we jump up and down in the natural, before finally plunging into the spiritual pools of the cool, clear water of life: the Gospel.

From the NATURAL to the SPIRITUAL:

There are really good reasons for starting in the NATURAL: i.e. what people know and experience in life now. The weather, work, family, money, etc… People have always got something to say about these subjects. It’s what Jesus always used to do, before engaging people in the Kingdom secrets. He shared stories, parables, about ordinary things in life; cloth, wine, fishing, farming, sowing seed, weeds, salt, money, lending, borrowing, generosity, family struggles, children, sons, virgins, marriage, divorce, faithfulness, storms, sickness, death, lost and found things, sheep, goats, rocks, building houses, lights, lamps, nets, boats. These are all things that people of Jesus time were familiar with, comfortable with and are interested in. All these things Jesus talked about were the STUFF OF LIFE: The Natural.

Think about Jesus method with the Woman at the Well. John 4. He talked with her first about the basic necessity of water or thirst being quenched. Then immediately changed to talking about morals and heavenly things. Jesus used ordinary things in life before engaging people in SPIRITUAL OR KINGDOM VALUES.

That’s what we’re doing when we start in the NATURAL: What people are experiencing in life right now, but then we just use ordinary life as a springboard into SPIRITUAL conversations with folks. It doesn’t take long and you don’t have to chat about ORDINARY things all night, but it does take a step of courage to swing to the SPIRITUAL.

Think about an onion or potato: They have skins and to get into the flesh they need to be peeled. So it is with people, to get to the HEART we’ve got to remove some of the surface material of life.

Last night was amazing: One conversation sticks in my mind, with a Spanish woman and her two children. We started off in the natural: I gave her £1,000,000 note and asked her, “If this was real, what would you do with it?”… She immediately began to share the good things she could do with a million pounds. It’s didn’t take long at all before we were into Spiritual conversations. She explained why she was frustrated and disappointed with ‘church’. She had good memories of attending church back home in Spain, and how she longed to be in church and serving God. Back home in Spain she was a Sunday School Teacher. It was amazing, because through all her childhood Church experience she’d never heard the Gospel or responded to Jesus invitation to new life. Ben was brilliant and shared the Gospel using the five fingers of his left hand. It was so simple that even a child could easily grasp it. All the way through sharing the Good News the child was asking questions, “what’s the next finger for, and what about those two?” then after a few more minutes sharing the Gosple we got back onto talking about life experience. I asked Janna (a new member of the team) to share her own experience of how she came to trust in Jesus Christ for Salvation. It was awesome, because I didn’t know how Janna had come to know Jesus or her life story, so I was just as interested as the Spanish woman and her daughter. Praise the LORD! After chatting some more, that Spanish woman and her children walked along the road with us. As we walked along, we continued to share the Good News with folks, they watched and heard us sharing. Her daughter was giving me advice how we could do it better… She suggested filming people’s reactions to getting £1,000,000.  LOL.

Last night, giving out tracts (Springboards) was good, these led to wonderful spiritual conversations and Gospel sharing. You can do that too, with your family and friends that you are praying for and hoping will come to know Jesus as Lord and Saviour. Just talk about life, the normal stuff, their hopes and fears, and then be BRAVE and switch the conversation to the Spiritual. See if they’ve got a hunger. If you’ve been praying for them, then the Holy Spirit will be drawing them and giving them a Spiritual Hunger, all you’ll need to do is hook them and reel them in with the Good News.

Like the Parable of the Sower, we broadcast the seeds of the Good News with almost everyone, then when a fish pops up and takes the bait, we gently reel them in.

PRAY: That everyone we chatted with last night, who heard something of the Good News of Jesus, would, even now, be being drawn to faith in Jesus by the Holy Spirit.

Pray: That those we did get into conversations, that they’ll be reminded somehow by the LORD and moved to open their hearts to Him.

PRAY: That we’ll be BOLD as we go out again on Friday afternoon in West Norwood.

If you’d like to learn to fish like Jesus did, then come and join us. Just bring yourself, we’ll provide the fishing gear, the Lord will provide the fish. You’ll be amazed the way the LORD opens up people’s hearts to the Good News.

Oh and that Proverb: It will keep you on the strait and narrow path.

Proverbs 6:23 (NIV) “For these commands are a lamp, this teaching is a light, and the corrections of discipline are the way to life, …”

PRAY: For me, I’ve got a School Governor’s meeting tonight at St Luke’s School.

What a wonderful way to spend my day off. Praise the LORD!

Don.

 

They ALL Need Jesus

They ALL Need Jesus. He's calling all people to himself

Daily Spirit & Word: 747: They ALL Need Jesus.

Doing the IMPOSSIBLE with Jesus.

Read to the End Today, there’s a funny story to encourage you.

Good morning my friends, do you remember me telling you about Emma? She became a follower of Jesus last Tuesday, got baptised on Sunday and came out on the streets last night to share the Gospel with us. Emma admits she doesn’t know a lot, but is filled with the desire to lead others to Jesus to experience His promise of what she has received.

When you get to Heaven Jesus is not going to ask if you attended church, worshipped regularly, prayed every day or read your Bible, He’s going to hold you to account for your obedience to His teachings. Emma doesn’t know much, but she knows enough to know that Jesus wants us to bring everyone to Him and last night, fearful, trembling and unsure, she began to really walk in that obedience. You should have seen her face when she came back, she was beaming.

What was great about last night? There was a wonderful TEAM spirit, we split into twos and one group of three. Some went up-town, others went down-town. We’ve been praying slightly differently as I shared a few weeks ago. We’re not asking God to come with us, because we KNOW Jesus is with us, we just thank Him for His PROMISES that when we go in obedience to His Commands that He’ll be with us. We’re not asking for the POWER of the Holy Spirit as much as thanking Him for His PROMISE to empower us and equip us. Oh yes we cry out for the Holy Spirit to work in the lives of those He’s pulling to Jesus and to lead us to the ones He’s already been tugging at their hearts.

Beverley and I were paired together. The first man Bev and I bumped into, David, it was strange, because he said a few times, “This is deep, I don’t know why I’m pouring my heart out to you, I feel like you are my counsellors”. But we knew, because we’d been praying the LORD would be drawing them.   He said, “I never share this with anyone, but I feel I want to with you” He told us about how he was a bad man, was into trouble all the time, got into fights etc, but when his baby came, he knew his life must change, but it didn’t. Then his baby died at 18 months old. His precious baby’s death broke his heart and David began to changed his ways, it was a wake up call. I said, “David, God’s calling you to himself”. You see, David was already humble, he knew he’d sinned against God, but didn’t know about God’s offer of New Life”…

We had a few short conversations with some other folks, but then we got chatting with another young man, this time he told us; “I used to go to church, got baptised as a baby, attended Sunday School, went to a Church School and got confirmed, but it meant nothing to me”… I said, “Do you think you are good enough to get into Heaven when you die?”… He said, “I hope so”. He believed in Heaven, God and Sin and Hell. We began to go through the Commandments and the surprise on his face was evident, he said, “That means no one is good enough to get into Heaven, because we’ve all fallen short of God’s holy standard”. WOWzer! He got it, but still I pushed his understanding a bit more. “Do you know what God has done so that nobody needs to end up in Hell?” He said, “Yes, Jesus, He died upon the Cross to save us from our sins”… I said, “How do you get that forgiveness?” He said “Ask God to forgive you” I said, “Partially, but the Bible tells us we must; Believe that Jesus died for our own sins, those nails being hammered into his hands were for our lies, theft, lust and hatred of others, then we must repent of those sins and receive Jesus as our Lord and Saviour”. He said, “That makes sense”… I shared what it means to actually trust in Jesus, i.e. You wouldn’t jump out of a plane without a parachute would you? No you’d put the parachute on, it’s the same with Jesus, just believing that He can save you is not enough, you’ve got to actually trust in Him and receive Him by faith. I gave him my calling care, and we’re going to meet up for a coffee in Costa (or somewhere 🙂 ) to talk about it a bit more about Jesus.

Ben and Judy have opened my eyes to see that just sharing the Gospel of making Converts is not enough: Jesus didn’t call us to make ‘converts’ but to grow Disciples, followers of Jesus and to see that people begin to be obedient to what they know, as soon as possible after being converted.

But long before Ben and Judy came, the LORD had already been working on my own heart about this, because we’ve been preaching through the Gospel of Mark. I’d already seen that Jesus called people, demonstrated the Kingdom and then sent them out, almost immediately after calling them to follow himself, then when they came back, they were amazed that when they used Jesus’ name, even the Demons submitted to them. However, this surprised me, listen to what Jesus said to them (read it out loud my friends).

Luke 10:1-24 (NIV)
1 After this the Lord appointed seventy-two others and sent them two by two ahead of him to every town and place where he was about to go.
2  He told them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.
3  Go! I am sending you out like lambs among wolves.
4  Do not take a purse or bag or sandals; and do not greet anyone on the road.
5  “When you enter a house, first say, ‘Peace to this house.’
6  If a man of peace is there, your peace will rest on him; if not, it will return to you.
7  Stay in that house, eating and drinking whatever they give you, for the worker deserves his wages. Do not move around from house to house.
8  “When you enter a town and are welcomed, eat what is set before you.
9  Heal the sick who are there and tell them, ‘The kingdom of God is near you.’
10  But when you enter a town and are not welcomed, go into its streets and say,
11  ‘Even the dust of your town that sticks to our feet we wipe off against you. Yet be sure of this: The kingdom of God is near.’
12  I tell you, it will be more bearable on that day for Sodom than for that town.
13  “Woe to you, Korazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the miracles that were performed in you had been performed in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago, sitting in sackcloth and ashes.
14  But it will be more bearable for Tyre and Sidon at the judgment than for you.
15  And you, Capernaum, will you be lifted up to the skies? No, you will go down to the depths.
16  “He who listens to you listens to me; he who rejects you rejects me; but he who rejects me rejects him who sent me.”
17  The seventy-two returned with joy and said, “Lord, even the demons submit to us in your name.”
18  He replied, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven.
19  I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you.
20  However, do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.”
21  At that time Jesus, full of joy through the Holy Spirit, said, “I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children. Yes, Father, for this was your good pleasure.
22  “All things have been committed to me by my Father. No-one knows who the Son is except the Father, and no-one knows who the Father is except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.”
23  Then he turned to his disciples and said privately, “Blessed are the eyes that see what you see.
24  For I tell you that many prophets and kings wanted to see what you see but did not see it, and to hear what you hear but did not hear it.”

Can you see now why we encouraged Emma to come out with us last night?

Emma is not ‘wise or learned’ she was a very recent convert, much like the 72 that Jesus sent out above, but they’d seen enough, they knew enough and they went out in obedience and returned with great JOY. Why?

  • Because all the things that Jesus had told them were TRUE (Jesus only ever spoke the TRUTH, Jesus is “The way, and the Truth and the Life” John 14:6)
  • Because they’d seen how the KINGDOM of God was near when they shared the Good News about the Kingdom. We’ll see that too, but only when we’re obedient and begin to share the Kingdom, the Good News of Jesus.
  • Because “even the demons submit to us in your name”… They’d seen the battle head-on and the power of the Kingdom to subdue the demonic. You’ll see that too, but only when you go out in obedience to Jesus Kingdom Commands.

We too can rejoice, but we should rejoice much more, that because we’ve trusted in Jesus Christ for forgiveness and salvation, that our names are now written in Heaven.

My friends, Jesus is working in Emma’s life, She’s seeing the Kingdom Power and she’s only one week old as a Christian. God is revealing it to babes in Christ. It’s not about learning more or knowing more about God, the Bible etc, it’s about being obedient to what we know already. That’s what’s been challenging me lately, because I know so much, but I’ve discovered just how disobedient I’ve been to what I know. Let’s get more of a desire to do what Jesus told us to do, to learn His teachings and to do them.

Bev and I paired up last night, and she and I saw the Kingdom Power to bring conviction, encouragement and enlighten people in the darkness. It’s when we share what we know, that we’ll see the Kingdom Come. Let’s get going and see a mighty move of God in London, the UK, the world. Amen! “Thy Kingdom Come”….Amen.

Luke 10:23-24 (NIV) Jesus said “…. Blessed are the eyes that see what you see. For I tell you that many prophets and kings wanted to see what you see but did not see it, and to hear what you hear but did not hear it.”

Whoever has ears to hear what the Spirit is saying to the church, let them hear. Amen.

Have an awesome day,

Don.

P.S. I must share a funny story: On Tuesday we had a Pastor’s Meeting in West Norwood: Five of us met to discuss the vision for an event in St Luke’s Gardens on Saturday 16th July, we’ve been led to call it; “Oh Happy Day”. But after the meeting I was walking down the road with Dennis, the Pastor of World Wide Mission Fellowship. He was on the phone to a young man. When he finished his call he said to me, “I’m meeting a young man in a minute, will you ask him “How is Jesus the Lord?”” I said, “OK Dennis, I will” but just at that moment I spotted a huge man, he’s massive, built like an OX, I said, “Dennis, you say the same thing to him”… Dennis just looked at me…he said, “No, you share with that one” I did, I said, “Do you know Jesus is Lord?” … The huge man was Dave from our fellowship, Dennis and I laughed and laughed. You see, it’s wanting to be obedient, that’s what counts. Afterwards, we met the young man, his name was David too. Is the LORD calling the DAVIDS in our Community?

Are you prepared to SHARE Jesus with ANYONE? Don’t go by appearances, don’t go by what a person looks like, because the LORD doesn’t look at the outward appearances, He looks at the HEART. He’s calling ALL people to himself. If we just looked at the outward appearance we’d miss the people the Lord wants us to talk with. If someone is dressed in a smart suit, looks nice and clean, they need Jesus just as much as a man dressed in shabby clothing. All have fallen short of God’s Holy Standards. All need to come to repentance. All need a Saviour from Hell. No my friends, don’t look at how big they are or how small they are, how smart or intelligent a person appears to be, God’s calling EVERYONE into His Kingdom family, they all need Jesus.

You can do the IMPOSSIBLE with Jesus: Peter walked on water with Jesus.

Jesus said, “Apart from me you can do NOTHING”… i.e. everything we try and do, that doesn’t involve Jesus, is NOTHING.

However, Jesus also said, “You will do even greater things”…. Awesome!

P.P.S. Please pray for our West Norwood: “Oh Happy Day”, it’s coming on Saturday 16th July in St Luke’s Gardens. An event for the whole family, Christians united together to share the GREAT things God is doing in this world today. There will be Bands, Choirs, Dancing, Singing, Stalls with Photography, Face-Painting, Exercise (for every ability Kingdom Stretch), Food stalls, Books, Booklets, etc etc… Come to “Oh Happy Day” St Luke’s Gardens, West Norwood. Saturday 16th July. EVERYONE is WELCOME.