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.

 

You Don’t NEED to get permission to share Jesus

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

Daily Spirit & Word: 741:

You Don’t Need To Ask For Permission.

Share the Good News Freely.

Pentecost Prayer Week: Day 5.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

PERMISSION NOT REQUIRED: YOU’VE GOT IT ALREADY.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Don.

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

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

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

Living In The Fountain of Life

Christian living in the power of the Holy Spirit

Daily Spirit & Word: 728:

Living In The Power of The Holy Spirit.

A Battle Royal: How to live a submitted life.

“When you do what pleases you, does what you do please God?

Good morning my friends, what a wonderful Alpha Experience evening we had last night. Our theme for the evening was all about The HOLY SPIRIT. We looked at the teaching, filling, empowering, seeking and yearning. We all admitted our NEED of God The Holy Spirit.

However, one of the main points of our discussion was what we’d talked about the previous week: How does God guide us? How does the Holy Spirit let us know His will? How can I live in such a way that I know I’m going to be victorious as a Christian?

We will understand and know His guidance the more we SUBMIT ourselves completely to Christ, but what we discovered afresh last night was, the more you submit yourself to God, the more you begin to realise how just un-submitted we really are. And therefore, how much we need God’s grace, mercy, forgiveness, cleansing, power and presence every single day.

THE WALK OF GENUINE FAITH:

  • The Walk of genuine faith in Jesus really is a battle of WILLS: God’s Will and Our Will. 
  • The Walk of genuine faith in Jesus really is a battle of DESIRES: God’s desires and our own sinful desires.
  • The Walk of genuine faith in Jesus really is a battle of WANTS: What God wants and what we want.
  • The Walk of genuine faith in Jesus really is a battle of PLEASURES: What pleases God and what pleases us. 

Thankfully our wills, desires, wants and pleasures change as we submit ourselves to Jesus and seek the fullness of Holy Spirit, but then as we go on in the walk of faith, they sneak back into our souls, sometimes, undetected.

Thankfully Holy Spirit reveals our condition: He’s a gentle Saviour the Lord Jesus Christ, but he’ll not leave you, those who’ve received Him as Lord, in a condition of sin for very long. His heart’s desire is that you become more and more like Him: Holy, righteous, good and faithful.

When we follow our heart’s desires, wills, wants and pleasures instead of or in-spite of God’s revealed will, we become like an Adulterer: Unfaithful to the one who’s loved us.

James 4:4-10 (NIV)
4  You adulterous people, don’t you know that friendship with the world is hatred towards God? Anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God. (We become friends of the world when we do worldly things that God hates).
5  Or do you think Scripture says without reason that the spirit he caused to live in us envies intensely?
6  But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says: “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.”
7  Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
8  Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.
9  Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom.
10  Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.

When Holy Spirit shows you your condition, He does not do it to make you feel guilty, but to bring you back, to stop you falling, to keep you on track with God’s good plan for your life. However, just like Adam and Eve hid in the garden when they sinned against God, our NATURAL tendency is to hide too, we want to cover it up, pretend it never happened, keep it in the darkness. As God looked for and called for Adam and Eve, he’ll be doing the same with you and me by His Spirit. “Adam, where are you?” … “Eve, come out of hiding”…. Notice what happens when we respond to the pull of the Spirit, when we draw near to God, “He draws near to us”. What grace, what love, what amazing mercy.

Encouragement:

  • Submit yourself to God:
  • Resist the devil (the worldly attractions, temptations and pleasures),
  • Come Near to God: When we draw nearer to God (Nearer my God to Thee)… He comes bounding towards us in Spirit. “He will come near to you”…
  • Wash, Purify, Grieve, Mourn, Cry: i.e. feel what God feels because of your sinful wills, desires, wants and pleasures and mourn about it. Decide in your hearts that you want to be cleansed and set-free again.
  • WHEN: When you submit, resist, draw near, wash, grieve and mourn and cry: i.e. HUMBLE yourself towards God: He WILL LIFT YOU UP.
  • WHAT IF?: What if I’ve failed again? What if I keep falling? My friends, if you feel guilty then you are in a good place, because God’s not giving up on you. It’s when you stop feeling guilty and keep sinning you should really start to worry, because “God resists the proud”. However, if you feel the sorrow of a sinner’s heart, then you will receive from the Lord “MORE GRACE” James 4:6.
  • Remember Psalm 103:12. When you come in true confession and contrition (sorrow for sin), then God takes your sins away from you and FORGETS all about them, as if they never happened.

Psalm 103:11-13 (NIV)
11  For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him;
12  as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.
13  As a father has compassion on his children, so the LORD has compassion on those who fear him;

The Holy Spirit’s Intense Jealousy:

James 4:5 “Or do you think Scripture says without reason that the spirit he caused to live in us envies intensely?”

The Holy Spirit, that God caused to LIVE IN US, “Envies Intensely”: i.e. He’s jealous for God’s Glory and your own goodness in the Christian life. There’s an intense feeling of JOY when we walk in step with the Spirit.

FOUNTAIN OF LIFE:

The Holy Spirit: Becomes in us (Inside Us) a SPRING or FOUNTAIN… i.e. we get filled up with the Holy Spirit from within… It’s not external, but internal filling we need. Some people erroneously, mistakenly, foolishly “Call Down” the Holy Spirit, but how can you call down someone who’s already there? He is in you if you are saved by Jesus. You are full of Holy Spirit, but we leak… All we need is a greater filling, more of His fullness, more LORD!…. “Go on being filled with the Spirit” Ephesians 5:8-18.

Awesome! Because when God lifts you up, you’re going to have one of those MOUNTAIN-TOP EXPERIENCES.

Focus on God’s desires, focus on Jesus, focus on His awesome tender compassion, kindness and love.

  • He give GRACE to the Humble.
  • He RESISTS the Proud.
  • The Spirit’s Presence is like a FOUNTAIN.
  • Go on being filled… i.e. every day. 

Amen!

Don.

Worship: Wonderful Grace.

The Jewel In Aaron’s Turban

The Jewel in Aaron's Crown

Daily Spirit & Word: 663: Holy Things.

The Jewel in Aaron’s Turban.

Good morning my friends, it’s cold and dark outside. Thanks be to the LORD, I’ve been convicted by His Holy Spirit again. As I was reading in daily devotional, I heard His voice saying, “That’s you Donald”. Now ordinarly I’d think “that’s Satan’s voice trying to make me feel guilty, when I’m not”, but today it was the voice of the LORD. You see even in the holiest of things that we do for the LORD there is SIN lurking at the door.
Exodus 28:38 (NLT) “Aaron must wear it on his forehead so he may take on himself any guilt of the people of Israel when they consecrate their sacred offerings. He must always wear it on his forehead so the LORD will accept the people.”
When I first studied Exodus, I must have missed this; I concentrated then upon the Dress of Aaron the High Priest, but today the LORD showed me something more. It’s talking about the jewel in Aaron’s turban and the fact that even when the People of Israel were bringing offerings to the LORD, there was some sin in the offering. It was a reminder that even when the people are going about doing their most holy and devoted acts, there is a tinge of sinfulness in it; and the jewel in the turban is to take away the sins from the people, that Aaron (the High Priest) might bear their sin, even in their offerings and sacrifices so that they would become acceptable to God.
Imagine that, you’re going to; prayer, praise, Bible study, fellowship meetings etc; yet there is something, some aspect of sin in the offering?

How can that possibly be?

How is it possible to be doing HOLY activity with sinful motives?

Well think of a Garden that needs to be tended:
A gardener may look at his garden and say, “Oh I need to go and do some weeding”… He goes out and spends ages removing the weeds. That’s good right? Well it could be, but let’s look at some of the reasons why a gardener may undertake the task of weeding his garden.
Indolence: (I learned a new word today) Indolence is; inactivity resulting from a dislike of hard work.
So the garden may be covered in weeds because of the gardener’s indolence, laziness, lack of concern, not caring about the growth of weeds in the garden. This reminded me of Jesus teaching about the yeast of the Pharisees and how it can spread throughout the whole batch of dough or the church or fellowship. Jesus wants his people to be pure, so He instructs us to be aware of the yeast of the Pharisees, unbelief.
There are HOLY things we should be doing, but because of our lazy attitude or our indolence, it doesn’t get done.
PRIDE & VANITY: The gardener may work on his garden for reasons of pride or vanity.
He works hard removing every single weed he can find, so that when he looks back over his garden he pats himself on the back and says, “What a good job I’ve done, that will impress people”. That’s pride in operation. He’s thinking of the neighbours looking over the fence and saying, “That’s a fantastic garden”; that’s pride too, but it’s also vanity; looking good in the eyes of others.
Why are we going about our devotions to the LORD? Is it to impress other people, to feel good about ourselves, to impress the LORD or because we’ve been too lazy and we’ve let the garden of our faith get covered in weeds?
Thankfully, like Aaron’s jewel in the turban, which was in place because of the iniquity of the offerings, the sins of the people who were bringing holy sacrifices to the LORD, we too have a High Priest: Jesus Christ. When we’re doing our devotions; prayer, praise, worship, fellowship, Bible study, etc; the Lord God Almighty doesn’t see us or the sin in the offering: He sees only your High Priest standing in front of your offerings. Jesus Christ is your great high priest my friends; that’s GRACE.
So even if it is; indolence, pride or vanity, we’re covered by the righteousness of Jesus Christ. However, let’s check our motives; why are we tending our garden of praise?
  • If it’s to impress other’s that’s vanity.
  • If it’s to impress the LORD, that vanity too.
  • If it’s to impress ourselves, that’s Pride.
  • If it’s to cover our laziness, that’s indolence.
Oh LORD, SAVE me from my pride, vanity and indolence today. Amen.
Lord, I ask that you’ll help me, even when I’m doing the right things, to be doing them from pure motives. Amen.
Help me O LORD, even in my most HOLY activity. Amen.
Thank you Lord Jesus, that You are the Jewel in the Crown of righteousness.
Don.

Praise the LORD

Christmas Freedom From Knowing the KING

Knowing King Jesus instead of Knowing About Him

Daily Spirit & Word;655;

How to Have A Happy Christmas: When Jesus Sets You Free.

Jesus is the KING of The Heavenly Kingdom.

The Incredible Peace & Freedom When Jesus Is Your King.

Good morning my friends, we’ve had an amazing week of Carol Services, with more to come; Christingle Making on Saturday at 2.00pm, then a party at Jonathan and Louise’s house. On Sunday our BIG Carol Service with Cristingles and Crib… BUT do you KNOW the KING of Christmas. Jesus is the KING and knowing him is very different from knowing all about Him. To get the Angelic promise of PEACE AND GOODWILL TOWARDS MANKIND, you’ll need to get to know the King personally.

The late, great Dr. Vance Havner had this to say:

“One does not ordinarily associate law books with songbooks, mandates with music. But here’s a man to whom the law of the Lord is no burdensome thing, a pattern of hard lines. Here’s a radiant believer to whom law is liberty and service like unto a happy song.

One may be good in such a bad way.

Some of us have punctiliously kept the statutes but have failed to sing the songs. We have whiteness but no light. The Christian life does have its stern, unyielding requirements; but every law has a song written on the back and between the requirements runs the refrain. Duty turns to delight and mandates become melodies.

There must be a law if there is to be liberty.

Try to play a piano and you will run into laws as fixed as the decrees of the Medes and Persians. But through those statutes you reach the songs, drudgery leads to delight. The law of Christ brings the liberty of Christ. Keep His statutes, and they become songs.

The other side of commandment is conquest. What seems restraint to the outsider means release to you.

  • “Ye shall know the truth”—there are the statutes.
  • “The truth shall make you free”—there is the song.

But to know the truth is to know Him, otherwise it is legalism. “If the Son shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.” His law book becomes a song book!”

From “The Incredible Power of Kingdom Authority”: Getting an Upper Hand on the Underworld. ( by Adrian Rogers).

There is also Jesus promise about His requirements:

“My yoke is easy and my burden is light”.

Matthew 11:28-30
28  “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.
29  Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.
30  For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

That promise of being able to follow Christ’s Commands, Laws and Decrees and His doctrines, is given in sharp contrast to the almost impossible and heavy, burdensome demands of the legalists of Jesus day, the Pharisees and the Sadducees. When we just have duty without release, service without reward, obedience without experience, it becomes legalism. We must try and be obedient, but our obedience and the desire to be obedient stem from our nearness to the Lord Jesus Christ. We must come to HIM in order to be set free and filled with joy. Or we’ll just become religious or legalists or worse; we’ll become both at the same time; religious legalists. Only through knowing Jesus as your KING will you be set free from the impossible demands of God’s Law or any man made religious laws.

  • There is an invitation at Christmas: “Come to me” said Jesus.
  • There is a way to respond to Jesus at Christmas: “Repent, Believe, Receive, Return, and be Renewed”.
  • There is a promise when we respond to Jesus invitation at Christmas: “Freedom and New Life”.
  • There is a NEW SONG in your heart, you will KNOW the TRUTH and the truth will make you FREE. That will lead to singing songs of freedom, joy, release, i.e. “My chains fell off, my heart was free, I rose, went forth and followed Thee”. From the song “And can it be”…
  • There is a New Desire in your life once you KNOW Jesus as KING: You’ll love God’s Law, You’ll long to be obedient, You’ll be transformed in such a way that His Law is your delight. Being Holy is not something that’s a secret anymore, you’re every molecule and fragment of being will be crying out to be completely free from the desires of the flesh. You’ll discover that freedom with Jesus as KING this Christmas.

YBH: Yes But How? How do we know if we know Him?

Jesus said, “If you love Me, you will obey my commands”… We’ll know if we know Jesus if there is a strong desire to live in obedience to His teachings, commands, decrees. They will not seem burdensom. The Law of God changes from something that seems harsh, restrictive and designed to ruin our enjoyment of this world, into something that becomes a joy and delight to the believer who is close to Jesus Christ. However, once you KNOW Jesus, then you’ll also KNOW that God gave us the Commandments because He loves us, has a plan to prosper us and enable us to live in His freedom. The Law of the LORD is light. You’ll delight in God and He’ll give you the desires of your heart. Your desires will change though, because once, when you were in darkness, you longed for the things of this world, the same things the people of the world long for, but once you’re set free, they are no longer so attractive, you’ll long instead to be filled with God’s goodness; the New Wine of the Kingdom.

Jesus invites you to come to Him today, when you respond in repentance, faith and trust, you will receive; Him, New Life, Freedom from Sin’s power to control you, freedom from Satan’s rule in your life and freedom to live in God’s power and authority.

When you know Jesus, the KING that the wise men worshipped and presented with gifts, you’re going to have an AWESOME Christmas.

Your Kingdom Come Lord Jesus.

Amen!

Be blessed in Jesus my friends,

Don.

 

SING THIS AWESOME HYMN:

AND CAN IT BE:

1 And can it be that I should gain
An int’rest in the Savior’s blood?
Died He for me, who caused His pain?
For me, who Him to death pursued?
Amazing love! how can it be
That Thou, my God, should die for me?

(NOTE: Verse One speaks about the almost ubelievable fact that someone so good, so holy and so pure, would die for a sinner who’s broken God’s commandments, someone like me. It really is ‘amazing love’ we wonder ‘how can it be’?)

Refrain:
Amazing love! how can it be
That Thou, my God, should die for me!

2 ‘Tis mystery all! Th’Immortal dies!
Who can explore His strange design?
In vain the firstborn seraph tries
To sound the depths of love divine!
‘Tis mercy all! let earth adore,
Let angel minds inquire no more. [Refrain]

(NOTE: Verse two speaks about the mystery of the Gospel, that even Angels couldn’t understand and wanted to know about from the beginning of time, but was only revealed after Jesus dies and rose again).

3 He left His Father’s throne above,
So free, so infinite His grace;
Emptied Himself of all but love,
And bled for Adam’s helpless race;
‘Tis mercy all, immense and free;
For, O my God, it found out me. [Refrain]

(NOTE: Verse 3; speaks about the joy of being set free when you come to Jesus. The truth of Jesus pre-existence before coming from Heaven to Earth, how He emptied Himself of some of His Godly attributes to take on human flesh, but couldn’t empty Himself of love).

4 Long my imprisoned spirit lay
Fast bound in sin and nature’s night;
Thine eye diffused a quick’ning ray,
I woke, the dungeon flamed with light;
My chains fell off, my heart was free;
I rose, went forth and followed Thee. [Refrain]

(NOTE: Verse 4 is jam-packed with truth. It tells of the imprisoned sinner, bound in sin it’s like darkness, but when we come to Jesus, we get the awesome light and we see the dungeon for what it is; sin is a horrible dungeon, an prison, it keeps it’s prisoners in chains that are impossible for mankind to break on their own, “fast bound”. 2 Corinthians 4:4. The Gospel the knowledge of Christ’s death for law-breaking sinners, will make those chains fall off. Fantastic! Freedom!).

5 No condemnation now I dread;
Jesus, and all in Him is mine!
Alive in Him, my living Head,
And clothed in righteousness divine,
Bold I approach th’eternal throne,
And claim the crown, through Christ my own. [Refrain]

NOTE: Verse 5: Once we KNOW Jesus and Jesus knows us; there is unspeakable joy and freedom, “No condemnation” the dread of facing God’s judgement is taken away. We’re ‘Alive in Him’; i.e. Jesus gives us life in Himself when we receive Him as Lord. We can approach the throne of GRACE boldly.)…

There’s the Modern Worship Song: Break Every Chain.
Jesus will set you completely free: “I Am the Vine” John 15.

 

Like the first gleam of dawn

Let your light so shine

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

BUT: What did Jesus mean?

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

What was it then?

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

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

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

SHINE YOUR LIGHT.

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

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

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

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

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

NOW: Christians can sing with new words;

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

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

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

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

Don.

 

God of GRACE

Saved by Grace Through Faith

Daily Spirit & Word 559: Complete In Christ Jesus

Good morning my friends, the Lord reminded me today that we’re Christians because of God’s Amazing Grace.

  • God’s 
  • Riches 
  • A
  • Christ’s 
  • Expense.

He paid the FULL price for your FREEDOM.

So this Saturday morning I’m Singing / Praising The LORD.

God of grace, I turn my face
To You, I cannot hide
My nakedness, my shame, my guilt
Are all before Your eyes

Strivings and all anguished dreams
In rags lie at my feet
And only grace provides the way
For me to stand complete

And Your grace clothes me in righteousness
And Your mercy covers me in love
Your life adorns and beautifies
I stand complete in You.

“I Stand Complete In You” By Chris Bowater.

Ephesians 2:8-10 8  For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9  not by works, so that no-one can boast. 10  For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

Praying that all my friends enjoy a Superb Saturday in God’s Awesome Grace.

Don.

 

P.S. Worship Along Today.

 

 

Peter is Recommissioned by Jesus.

Jesus gives so much GRACE

Daily Spirit & Word, 511: Peter is recommissioned by Jesus.

40 Days With Jesus: Day 27:

Peter is Recommissioned by Jesus. John 21:15-17.

Good morning my friends, I’m always amazed by the utter grace that Jesus lavishes upon His chosen people. No wonder St Paul wrote, “My grace is sufficient for you.” It surely is. When we re-read the account of Peter’s restoration and recommissioning by Jesus, you’ll see His abundant GRACE in bucket-loads or as the famous hymn puts it: “Here is grace, vast as the ocean, loving kindness like a flood, when the Prince of Life, our ransom, shed for us His precious blood”, you see it here today.

Peter’s Recommissioning:

John 21:15-17 15  When they had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you truly love me more than these?” “Yes, Lord,” he said, “you know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Feed my lambs.”
16  Again Jesus said, “Simon son of John, do you truly love me?” He answered, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Take care of my sheep.”
17  The third time he said to him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?” Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time, “Do you love me?” He said, “Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Feed my sheep.

Thomas Edison’s Assistant:

Thomas Edison was working on a prototype light bulb and it took a whole team of men 24 straight hours to put just one bulb together. The story goes that when Edison was finished with one light bulb, he gave it to a young boy helper, who nervously carried it up the stairs. step by step he carefully watched his hands, obviously frightened of dropping such a priceless piece of work. You’ve probably guessed what happened next; the poor young fellow dropped the bulb at the top of the stairs. It took the entire team of men another 24 hours to make another bulb. Finally, tired and ready for a break, Edison was ready to have the bulb carried up the stairs. He gave it to the same young boy who’d dropped the first bulb. That’s true forgiveness and grace, because he gave the boy a second chance.

My friends, that’s what the Lord is doing with Peter in our passage today, and it’s what the Lord will do with you too. Once you come to Jesus and trust Him as Lord, He’s your LORD forever. He’ll never let you go and He’s constantly calling out to you to come to Him to be given another chance. He wants to give you another go at being His disciple again.

Notice, he also commissioned Peter to feed the lambs, look after the sheep and feed the sheep. There are those who are babies in the Kingdom of God, they need special care furst. The Mature sheep need looking after, watching out for wolves etc and they also need to be taken out into green pasture and shown how to feed on good green grass. He takes the fisherman and makes him into a shepherd of His flock.

We see a transformed Peter after Pentecost: Standing up in front of thousands and 3000 people coming to faith in Jesus. Acts 2. Then he’s thrown into prison and let out by an Angel. He’s also got people running after him, so that even if his shadow should fall upon them, they’d be healed. Peter does some really amazing things, but it all comes down to the fact that he was re-instated by Jesus. He was given a second chance and Peter is Recommissioned by Jesus.

You’ll experience times of failure:

Babies learn to get up and walk after trying many times, sometimes hurting their bums and falling over and bumping their heads. But as we can see from Peter’s experience of meeting the resurrected Lord Jesus on the beach that day, Jesus is full of grace, mercy and forgiveness. We serve a God of second chances: He’s longing to give you anther go my friends. So when you fail and fall, don’t give up on yourself, because Jesus never will. He wants to reach out to you, to lift you up and to give your feet a firm place to stand. He’ll then put a new song in your heart, a hymn of praise to our God. Psalm 40.

Psalm 40:1-3 1  [For the director of music. Of David. A psalm.] I waited patiently for the LORD; he turned to me and heard my cry.
2  He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand.
3  He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear and put their trust in the LORD.

There’s a Prayer we pray sometimes in our Fellowship:

May the GRACE of our Lord Jesus Christ,
And the Love of God,
And the Fellowship of the Holy Spirit,
Be with us now, and forever more. Amen.

Sometimes, like Edison’s assistant, we need a ‘light-bulb moment. I hope you’ve had one today.

We need His grace and forgiveness every day.

Have an awesome day with Jesus.

Don.

Day 27 of 40 Days With Jesus. Homepage:

Peter is Recommissioned by Jesus.

 

Good News Down The Street.

Sharing The Gospel

Daily Spirit & Word, 482: Good News Down The Street.

How Going Out to Share the Gospel is turned into Good News for People Today.

Good morning my friends, we got back to Church last night and prayed before going home from an evening of sharing the Good News of the Gospel on the Streets of West Norwood in London. What a brilliant time we had, splitting into teams of two and chatting to people about the Lord Jesus as we went. Sometimes we’re called to listen and other times to proclaim boldly. We had both last night, listening to people’s journey of faith and discovery and proclaiming God’s Great News. However, as mentioned last week, we don’t just go out with words, we’re not called to simply declare, proclaim and shout or preach at people, but to bring a demonstration of the Spirit’s Power into their lives.

Galatians 1:3-5 “Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, 4  who gave himself for our sins to rescue us from the present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father, 5  to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.”

You know my friends, I’m seeing this more clearly now as I read the Bible with the eyes of the Spirit of God within, He’s setting people free with HIS POWER, not just by reasoning, argument, persuasion or slick presentation. Yes it’s good to get trained to know about apologetics, to know theology and to have sufficient Bible background training. These things are vitally important for the sincere follower of the Lord Jesus Christ today, but we’re NOT called to rely upon our training, we’re called by the Lord Jesus to be guided and led by the Holy Spirit. Especially in Evangelism and Gospel Proclamation, because we meet people from so many different situations in life, the Spirit works differently to bring people to the point of trusting Jesus for Salvation. Yes, we must readily admit that everyone has certain things in common, e.g. We’ve all sinned and fallen short of the Glory of God. Everyone needs a Saviour from sin and that Saviour is the One and Only Lord Jesus Christ; however, how the Lord brings them is another thing entirely. It may be a touch or a word, it might be a smell or an memory from childhood, a word from the Bible or a prayer. What it takes for the Spirit to break into a person’s life is as varied as the grains of sand on the seashore.

Just last night for instance, Cherrie, who teamed up with me, then later on Isaac, we met; a nurse, a Mormon, a Christian and someone from our Church, we got into quite in-depth conversations with these people and they each had a unique perspective or viewpoint about faith. The Lord used a different method last night to reach them. It’s amazing how God makes the Gospel of Jesus Christ really Good News Down The Street.

The Back-Slidden Mormon

The Mormon, who had back-slidden from Mormonism since rebelling in her teens, when we shared the Gospel she readily acknowledged her need of Jesus, she was humble and remorseful and ready to come back, but was frightened she’d slip back into the world’s ways again. We gave assurance that once a person had trusted in Jesus for Salvation, He also keeps all those who come to Him. When we take hold of Jesus, He takes hold of us for ETERNITY. Then we were led to ask if she’d like us to pray for her, she said, “Oh yes please”. I said “Let’s pray then”. She responded, quite surprised, “What, NOW? You mean here on the street?” I laughed and so did she and Cherrie. Then we prayed and Oh WOWzer! Such a peace came into that back-slidden Mormon’s life. She said, “Before speaking to you, I was rushing and fussing, now I just feel completely at PEACE”. It’s amazing what the Lord can and will do when we take time to be with people as Jesus commanded. It really is Good News Down The Street.

The Exhausted Nurse:

Next, we bumped into a Nurse, leaning against a lamp-post by the Bus Stop. She looked tired from a hard day’s work. As we shared, she lit up, and was so thankful for us stopping and sharing the Good News of Jesus. I’d given her a little coin with the Ten Commandments and that’s what our conversation was all about, how the Ten Commandments are like a mirror to show us exactly what we’re like on the inside. They show up the stains of sin in our hearts. She knew what we were talking about, and afterwards, she tried to give the coin back. I said, “No that’s a gift for you” She was really surprised and thankful. My friends, the LORD can use the simplest things to impress people about His grace, kindness and generosity by offering New Life completely free to us, but it cost Him the life of His precious Son. It really is Good News Down The Street.

The ‘Christian’

Next, we met a ‘Christian’. I put the Christian in inverted commas, because here was a lovely, lively and seemingly very spiritual lady. She’d been going to a church in North London for over 20 years. It was a big Pentecostal church with thousands in the congregation. After talking for only a few seconds, I knew she needed to TRUST in the Lord Jesus for her Salvation. She gave it away when she proclaimed, “I TRY MY BEST to be a good ‘Christian'” Of course we all try out best, but there was something in the way she said it that told me she was not trusting in Jesus for her Salvation, but in her own efforts to be a good person. It was true, as we continued our conversation, the more she spoke the more convinced I became that she’d never come to the Lord Jesus Christ. She’d come to church, she’d come to an experience, she’d come to great fellowship, great teaching, great anointed worship, but she’d never come to the SAVIOUR. Last night really was Good News Down The Street for that lady.

She admitted readily that she sinned, but confessed her sin to be forgiven. Cherrie sensed it too and asked, “Do you pray and read the Bible?” She said she did. I said, “Was there ever a time when you TRUSTED Jesus for your salvation?” She said, “Oh Yes! every time I go to worship Him” and “I’ve always been a Christian, from the moment I walked into that Church, I believed in Jesus”… I said, “WOW! That’s fantastic, after going through the Ten Commandments, God used them to show her that she’d been trusting in the wrong things, that there’s the SALVATION that we all need from SIN, that Jesus delivers us from it once we’ve trusted in His death upon the Cross for our sins. “Have you been DELIVERED or SET FREE from Sin?” suddenly she needed to get away. 🙂 It was as if something changed in our conversation, she said, “I’ve got so many battles going on right now. You look at me and see a happy, smiling face, I know I look all together, but you don’t see the battles going on inside me right now”. Little did she know that I got that feeling after only a few seconds of talking with her. So I said, “Will you let us pray to the Lord Jesus for you right now?” She said, “I’ve got to go”. I said, “It will only take a second to bring God’s Kingdom Power into your life”. She then took time and prayed with us. It really was Good News Down The Street for that woman who’d been going to church for over 20 years. She discovered that she needed to TRUST in Jesus Christ for her Salvation and not her own best efforts. It’s amazing, because after we prayed, all of a sudden the need to rush away had vanished and she wanted to stay and talk some more.

Good News Down The Street

My friends, Jesus is still on the same RESCUE mission, He gave Himself, but He’s called us to go out and set people free by sharing the Gospel of the Good News. Galatians 1:3-5 “Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, 4  who gave himself for our sins to rescue us from the present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father, 5  to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.”

  •  He gave Himself for our sins.
  • He did it to RESCUE us.
  • He did it in accordance with God the Father’s will.
  • We give glory to the Lord Jesus Christ for ever and ever. That’s ETERNITY my friends.

My friends, I’ve shared just three of the many conversations we had last night, and I’ve not stated everything that was said, because I’d be writing here all day 🙂 When you go out on purpose to share the Good News of Jesus, you’ll be amazed at the different ways He’ll use you. His POWER is with you. Your own faith will be stretched and you’ll also grow in the knowledge and confidence of every good thing that you have in Christ Jesus. It’s not just good news for the people, but it’s Good News Down The Street for YOU TOO. 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.”

As you share with folks, then you’ll be set on fire with God’s love for everyone and you’ll long to see His Kingdom Power come into their lives. The fields are ripe unto harvest, but the labourers are few. We’re asking that the Lord Jesus, the Lord of the Harvest, will send many more labourers into His Harvest Field, so that thousands of Christians can enjoy sharing The Good News Down The Street to bring many into God’s Kingdom.

Amen!

Don.

 

The Wideness of God’s Mercy

The Wideness of God's Mercy

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

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

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

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

 Mercy triumphs over judgement.

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

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

 How is God Merciful?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 “As a Father has compassion on his children”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Don.