All About That Bass, No Treble

call down fire from Heaven

Daily Spirit & Word: 802: Bless Those Who Curse You.

LOVE YOUR ENEMIES.

Do Good to Those Who Hate You.

Speak Gently To Your Children.

Good morning friends, I love having my grandchildren over, because they are full of life and song. Sometimes, it’s good to see them go again, because they are SOOOO FULL OF LIFE! Exhausting ūüôā However, they just love singing songs and dancing. I’ll get my Kingdom Speaker out (a little bluetooth speaker that I use for worship when I do home visits or in small group worship). One song they love dancing to is “All About That Bass, No Treble”. by Meghan Trainor. That song on YouTube has over 1,500,000,000 hits. No kidding, 1500 Million hits and rising. It’s a song about prejudice and attitudes towards people of different sizes.

The LORD Just gave me: “It’s ALL about my PEACE, No TROUBLE”.

“It’s All About My PEACE, No TROUBLE”

 

We worry about all kinds of things in life, and sometimes we get a zeal for them.

  • Some people hate eating meat and get so zealous they want everybody to become vegetarians. However, I love Bacon, Lamb and sometimes Beef. ūüôā¬†
  • Some people get a zeal for different size people and put people down if they are not the same; size, colour, shape as they are. So many are nervous to even go outside, because they think people are looking at them.¬†
  • Some people get a zeal that’s just wrong.

My friends, we’ve got to check our ZEAL to know if we’re operating in a different kind of Spirit than that of the Holy Spirit. ¬†On Sunday we heard all about James and John wanting positions on the left and right of Jesus, today, here they are wanting to call down fire from Heaven to consume some Samaritans, just because they turned them away from their Village.

Luke 9:51-56 (NKJV)
51  Now it came to pass, when the time had come for Him to be received up, that He steadfastly set His face to go to Jerusalem,
52  and sent messengers before His face. And as they went, they entered a village of the Samaritans, to prepare for Him.
53  But they did not receive Him, because His face was set for the journey to Jerusalem.
54 ¬†And when His disciples James and John saw this, they said, “Lord, do You want us to command fire to come down from heaven and consume them, just as Elijah did?”
55 ¬†But He turned and rebuked them, and said, “You do not know what manner of spirit you are of.
56 ¬†For the Son of Man did not come to destroy men’s lives but to save them.” And they went to another village.

Now we all know, I think, that the Samaritans and Jews in Jesus time, didn’t mix or associate with one another. It’s a bit like Catholics and Protestants wouldn’t mix or associate with each other in Scotland when I was a kid. For very similar reasons, they had a different theology. So the Disciples had a natural dislike for Samaritans, an¬†inbred prejudice against them. Today we’d call it¬†Racism or Sectarianism.¬†¬†So when those Samaritans didn’t do something the Disciples (Jews) wanted them to do, that inbred hatred rose quickly to the surface, “Lord, do You want us to command fire to come down from heaven and consume them, just as Elijah did?” They felt justified in reacting in such a spiteful way.

This request was met with an equally immediate rebuke from Jesus lips, “You do not know what manner of spirit you are of” or What kind of spirit you are operating out of.

You see my friends, Jesus Christ did not come to destroy men, but to save them. This is awesome, because Jesus is putting into practice his own teaching from Sermon on the Mount. Where he told his followers very clearly; “Love your enemies, do good to those that hate you, bless those who curse you”…

Call fire down from Heaven? No my friends, that was a ZEAL too far.

They were getting too zealous. They were not thinking about Jesus, but that natural hatred for Samaritans, that’s what was driving their zeal.

My friends, if people don’t accept you, or even reject you, or even resent your presence, then don’t let your natural dislikes dictate your responses to them. Instead, bless them. I’m serious, it’s amazing what can happen when you actually respond in gentle ways. Bless those who curse you.

In Proverbs¬†God reveals and tells us this awesome truth: “A gentle answer turns away wrath”… I’ve seen this TRUTH of God’s Word in action my friends, many times.

Proverbs 15:1 (NIV) “A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.”

Now, we don’t know what would have happened if the Disciples had said to those Samaritans “OK, so you don’t want us in your village, well may the LORD of Heaven richly bless you in every way. Have a good evening my friends”… Imagine, if they’d learned Jesus’ lesson on the Mount?

We know that rejection hurts, but as Jesus’ followers we can turn even rejection into an opportunity to BLESS PEOPLE. That’s the Spirit we should endeavour to operate in. That’s What God would do an does do. He did not reject you did He? He didn’t turn away from you, just because you’d sinned. No instead, God blessed you and me, by sending His Son Jesus Christ into this world to SAVE sinners.

Endeavour Means: 

Noun: endeavour
1. A purposeful or industrious undertaking (especially one that requires effort or boldness)
2. Earnest and conscientious activity intended to do or accomplish something

Verb: endeavour
1. Attempt by employing effort

What a wonderful world we could see if we put as much ZEAL into our reactions as Jesus demonstrated to His followers that day.

Listen again to Jesus response to them that day;

Luke 9:55-56.
55 ¬†But He turned and rebuked them, and said, “You do not know what manner of spirit you are of.
56 ¬†For the Son of Man did not come to destroy men’s lives but to save them.” And they went to another village.

Now they are heading off to another village having been rebuked. It could have been so different. They could be skipping along to the next village full of joy with the Lord, if only they’d learned Jesus’ lessons from the Sermon on the Mount.

So my friends, when you are getting a bit angry, annoyed, upset with people; let’s just slow down, listen carefully to the Holy Spirit, because He wants to guide you. And check your motives and your feelings and your prejudices, before you react, before you speak, before you respond.

The Apostle James learned that lesson well from Jesus that day, because later on he wrote;

James 1:19 (NIV)¬†“My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry,”

i.e. SLOW DOWN: Don’t get all het-up, don’t get heated too quickly.

How many times have you said something hurtful in response to someone, only to regret it later? I know I have, many times, but the LORD is teaching me again today; “Donald, you must slow down, don’t speak too quickly, don’t respond in anger or haste. Don’t listen to your prejudices or petty hates or dislikes. These are real people who NEED the LOVE of God in their lives. Jesus didn’t come to destroy, but to SAVE” Amen!

This just came to me:

A moment on the lips,
A lifetime on the hips.¬† ūüôā¬†

It’s the SAME with our WORDS: “A word¬†from the lips, a lifetime on someone’s heart”

“A word from our lips, a lifetime on someone’s heart”

It’s half-term, the kids are off school, mums and dads, be patient with them. Love them! Speak GENTLE words to your kids, they won’t be kids for long. They’ll soon be off into the world. How you love them now will be carried into their adult lives. BE SLOW to become angry with everyone.

Have an awesome day with Jesus, grow in your knowledge and love of the Saviour.

Worship Him now, then go out on your mission in the world, to show His love. Amen!

Don.

“It’s All About My PEACE, No TROUBLE”

All About That Bass No Treble. Meghan Trainor.

 

People say, “God’s Not Fair”

God is Good Always

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Both God and Israel are complaining in our passage.

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

God responds, “Your ways are not fair”…

Who’s right?

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

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

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

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

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

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

Who’s to blame? It’s NOT GOD!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

God is ONLY A PRAYER AWAY!

Amen!

Don.

How To Avoid Being A Shrewd Steward

How to avoid shrewd stewardship

Daily Spirit & Word: 778: How to AVOID Being Shrewd Steward.

Don’t Let Money Be Your Master.

Luke 16:8 (NIV) “The master commended the dishonest manager because he had acted shrewdly. For the people of this world are more shrewd in dealing with their own kind than are the people of the light.”

Good morning my friends. You know the feeling you get when someone says something about you, behind your back, but somehow you get to hear about it? It feels horrible to think that people are thinking negatively about you. Well I had that a few years ago, and I didn’t realise that it had stuck with me. At the time I ignored it, but it got under my skin and into the core of my being. That’s the way RESENTMENTS build within us. What was it that someone said? They said, “Donald doesn’t understand money”… I can tell you now, honestly, that hurt. However, it’s not true. I do understand money, I just don’t want to be controlled by it. The LORD has set me FREE from care or worry about MONEY. Praise HIM for that. So I’m sure the LORD is right, the people of this world are more shrewd regarding worldly wealth than I am, but I don’t care, because the LORD owns the Universe and He’ll give me what I need, when I need it, right on time, every time. Trust the LORD with your finances and He’ll take care of the rest. Render to¬†Caesar¬†what belongs to¬†Caesar¬†and to God what belongs to God. When you do, He’ll OPEN the floodgates of Heaven into your life.

In Luke 16:10 right in the middle of the parable of the Shrewd Steward (Manager of the household).

Luke 16:10 (NIV) “Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much.”

As many of you know by now, I’m a bit of a wordsmith, I love looking into the meanings of words. Sometimes I’m surprised by my investigations, take the word ‘shrewd’ as an example. We probably all think we know what shrewd means, right? But when we think about it in light of this Parable in the Bible, we’ll see that being a ‘shrewd’ person is far from a praiseworthy¬†accolade, because shrewdness is being totally self-serving rather than serving God or others.

Shrewd: ¬†1. Marked by practical hardheaded intelligence. 2.¬†Serving one’s own interests in an unemotional, analytical manner.

Other words that can be used (synonyms); astute, calculating, calculative, conniving, savvy, scheming, sharp, smart.

Shrewdness: Intelligence manifested by being astute (as in business dealings).

Here’s one I uncovered:¬†perspicaciousness. Perspicacious: 1. Acutely insightful and wise. 2.¬†Mentally acute or penetratingly discerning.

Shrewd Steward:

You’ll know the Parable and what Jesus said about the Steward (Manager of the Master’s Household).

Luke 16:8 (NIV) “The master commended the dishonest manager because he had acted shrewdly. For the people of this world are more shrewd in dealing with their own kind than are the people of the light.”

The Manager (Steward) was about to loose his job because he was not a good manager (Steward) of the Master’s household. Instead of working harder to serve the Master better, he began to serve himself (shrewdness), he made friends of the people who owed his master money by letting them off the hook and taking only a fraction of what they owed and giving it to the master. He cooked the books in order to feather a nest for himself when he eventually lost his job.

Each transaction amounted to very little, but when all calculated together, the Master would have a massive shortfall. However, the SHREWD STEWARD would be seen to be a ‘nice’ man in the eyes of those who’d been helped out of debt.

We also know that the STEWARDS Jesus was aiming this Parable at, like a bolt in a crossbow, were the Pharisees. They were the Stewards in charge of God’s Household (The Temple and the People of Israel), but they were NOT being good stewards. They valued wealth, riches, rich people were given preference, they showed favouritism to the rich, they were feathering their own nests, rather than leading all of the people back to God and to Godly ways of living. Jesus had very stern words for them at the end of this Parable.

Luke 16:13-15 (NIV)
13 ¬†“No servant can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money.”
14  The Pharisees, who loved money, heard all this and were sneering at Jesus.
15 ¬†He said to them, “You are the ones who justify yourselves in the eyes of men, but God knows your hearts. What is highly valued among men is detestable in God’s sight.

The Pharisees were being very SHREWD: calculating, cunning and crafty in their dealings with men. However, they didn’t give the Master (God) a second of thought. So Jesus is warning them at this point, they are the SHREWD STEWARDS (Household Managers) who are about to loose their positions of trust.

My friends, money is not evil, but your money, what you own and possess is a TEST or a GAUGE of your FAITHFULNESS to God.

When I served on a submarine, we’d have gauges for all kinds of things, some to measure pressure, some to indicate levels in tanks. The water tanks and fuel tanks needed to be¬†monitored¬†and kept watch over at all times. ¬†Just one glance at a gauge and you’d know the level of the liquid inside the tanks.

In your life God uses the wealth and MONEY He’s given to you to GAUGE your level of faithfulness, commitment or spirituality.

You might¬†declare¬†“I’m not interested in money” (So God can’t accuse me of being an unjust Steward or a Shrewd Manager).

Well here’s a shocker for you, God IS INTERESTED in how you use your money.

You cannot SERVE BOTH: God and Money.

Why? Because your are going to LOVE the one and hate the other.

  • If you love money, then it’s like hatred towards God.
  • If you love God, then it’s like hatred towards Money.

So your Heavenly Father God will use whatever MONEY you’ve been entrusted with as a GAUGE to monitor your faithfulness to HIM (The Master).

When God looks at how you’ve used your money, will He see a FULL or EMPTY indicator?

Remember you cannot serve BOTH… i.e. there’s no¬†in-between¬†measurement. It’s either FULL ON for God or Empty.

If your trusting in God with your finances, then you are going to LOVE God’s ways of dealing with money and you’ll hate the worlds ways. You’ll be set free from worry about money. You’ll use money to serve God’s purposes in your life and wait for it, God Himself has promised to OPEN up the floodgates of Heaven into your life. If you bring into His storehouse what belongs to Him.

What’s God asking for?

It all belongs to HIM anyway, but He’s trusting you with it all: 100% Trust. Now He asks for you to give back to Him a portion of what He’s given you. That’s the TRUST element. He asks for a starting proportion of only 10%, then He’ll also move you to give generously to others and bring even more gifts to offer to Him. This is KINGDOM FINANCES and when you trust God with all your money, He’s going to set your completely FREE from worry, fears, temptations etc.

So, my advice would be:

  • STOP trusting in MONEY,
  • START trusting in God.

You know when you begin to really trust in God financially, you are going to be so on fire with LOVE for Him and for all His Kingdom priorities and values. God¬†reveals¬†His secrets to those who love HIM. You finances are God’s¬†GAUGE¬†to measure how much you really love and trust Him.

Jesus said so much about money, He spoke much more about money than He did; Heaven, Healing or Hell. Why? Because Jesus knew how this world ticks over every single day. He knows you think you need money to survive, but He’s got all the resources you’ll ever need, much more than you can even imagine, if you’ll just trust in HIM.

When GIVING is Tough: Kingdom Freedom Finances.

Mark 12:41-44 (NIV)
41  Jesus sat down opposite the place where the offerings were put and watched the crowd putting their money into the temple treasury. Many rich people threw in large amounts.
42  But a poor widow came and put in two very small copper coins, worth only a fraction of a penny.
43 ¬†Calling his disciples to him, Jesus said, “I tell you the truth, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others.
44 ¬†They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything‚ÄĒall she had to live on.”

If you are feeling strapped for cash at this moment in your life, believe me I’ve been there. It’s really, really hard to trust the LORD when you’ve got five kids to look after and you’ve just taken a pay cut from ¬£25,000 a year to less than ¬£12,000 and still try to give every week to God. For the first few years of ministry, serving the LORD, I struggled financially too. Then one day, through tears and crying out to the LORD a little miracle happened in my life. I’d started resenting the LORD, but He’s just so good, so kind, so generous and faithful. It took me to my knees to really cry out to Him.

If it looks bleak for you at this moment in time, financially, know this my friends, TRUST the LORD financially, keep giving to Him and He will suddenly open the floodgates into your life in ways you can’t imagine. Think about how much the poor widow really trusted the LORD with her finances, she put into the offering all she had to live on. ALL SHE HAD! That’s 100% giving to the LORD. That’s TRUST. However, the LORD isn’t asking for 100% from you to start with, not 50%, not 20%, but He’s only asking for just 10%… That’s awesome! That’s Kingdom Freedom Finances. All I can say is try it! You’ll see! He’ll set you free.

HOW TO GIVE TO THE LORD!

Bring in your 10% to start with into your local church to which you belong and you are a committed member. It’s not the church you are giving to, it’s God. Don’t give it to charity outside the church (this kind of charitable giving (offerings) is in addition to your Christian committed giving to the LORD’S family in the local church).

Some people say, “Oh I don’t give 10% to my church because I give to charities as well”… Well my friends, you are robbing God. You don’t get your shopping at ASDA and pay TESCO do you? You don’t go to Morrisons and pay in Sainsburry’s do you? No! You pay where you get your shopping. My friends, your local church is where the LORD feeds you with God’s Word, Worship, Fellowship, Teaching, Evangelism, Kingdom Family Friendships and Ministry: Bring in the whole TITHE into the¬†storehouse¬†of God’s Kingdom Family. You giving to your local church is a TEST (Gauge) of your trust and commitment to the LORD. How much do you love the LORD? It will be shown by how much you give to your church.

Malachi 3:6-12 (NIV) KINGDOM GIVING (Tithes and Offerings).
6¬†¬†“I the LORD do not change. So you, O descendants of Jacob, are not destroyed.
7 ¬†Ever since the time of your forefathers you have turned away from my decrees and have not kept them. Return to me, and I will return to you,” says the LORD Almighty. “But you ask, ‘How are we to return?’
8 ¬†“Will a man rob God? Yet you rob me. “But you ask, ‘How do we rob you?’ “In tithes and offerings.
9 ¬†You are under a curse‚ÄĒthe whole nation of you‚ÄĒbecause you are robbing me.
10 ¬†Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the LORD Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it.
11 ¬†I will prevent pests from devouring your crops, and the vines in your fields will not cast their fruit,” says the LORD Almighty.
12 ¬†“Then all the nations will call you blessed, for yours will be a delightful land,” says the LORD Almighty.

YOUR MONEY: From God, is His GAUGE of your LOVE, TRUST and FAITHFULNESS to HIM.

Don’t be a Shrewd Steward of what the LORD has trusted you with.

Are you feeling a bit dry ‘Spiritually’, then how’s your giving going? Are you holding back on God? Review your GIVING to the LORD today! Get on fire for Jesus.

Be one who LOVES and SERVES ONLY the LORD!

Jesus is the TRUTH: Know the Truth and the Truth will set you FREE.

Have an awesome week with Jesus,

Don.

 

Hot Juicy Gossip

What the Bible has to say about Gossip

Daily Spirit & Word: 707: Hot Juicy Gossip.

“When I Gossiped, I Sinned.”

“Oh LORD, help me to stop loving all that juicy hot gossip. Amen.”

Good morning my friends, do you know who the most generous people are? Gossips! Why? Because a gossip’s idea of generosity is to keep nothing to himself. HaHa… but seriously, gossip is not funny.

What is Gossip?

Dictionary Definition:

‚Ė∂ noun: casual or unconstrained conversation or reports about other people, typically involving details which are not confirmed as true:¬†“he became the subject of much local gossip.”

  • a conversation about other people; an instance of gossiping: “she just comes round here for a gossip”.
  • chiefly derogatory a person who likes talking about other people’s private lives.

‚Ė∂ verb (gossips, gossiping, gossiped) engage in gossip: “they would start gossiping about her as soon as she left.”

What does the Bible say about Gossip?
Gossiping Hot Juicy Gossip

You know the temptation don’t you?

When you know something about someone and you are just BURNING to share it. That’s OK if it builds another person up and makes them look good in the eyes of others, but what about when it’s harmful, when it’s going to make them look like a fool in the eyes of others?

“When a woman lowers her voice, and¬†her friends eyebrows raise”… You know it’s GOSSIP…

Have you ever been engaged in a conversation about someone and had to stop talking because they walked into the room or close enough to hear?

Proverbs 17:4 (NLT)
Wrongdoers eagerly listen to gossip;
liars pay close attention to slander.

 

 

Our interest in GOSSIP reveals something dark within our own personality. Something is missing, we’re feeling insecure, we’re angry, we’re holding a grudge… There’s nothing as good as bad news about someone who’s done you a wrong: But there is, because the very fact that you are enjoying it, means you’ve not really forgiven them.

Prayer: Lord Jesus, All the times I’ve been eagerly listening as someone tells me some juicy news about someone else. Oh LORD! Help me to keep my head and be listening out to Your Holy Spirit always. Convicting? I’ll say… Lord You know my heart, and how so many times I’ve been offended by someone or something, then just waited and longed to hear the¬†GOSS¬†about them?…. Oh LORD, forgive my interest in slanderous news. Cleanse my heart from these kind of dark affections. Amen!

  • Gossip: “Usually when the woman who is talking lowers her voice, the woman who is listening raises her eyebrows.”
  • Gossip: “Live in such a way that you would not be ashamed to sell your parrot to the town gossip.”¬†Will Rogers.
  • Gossip: ‚ÄúI have Social Disease. I have to go out every night. If I stay home one night I start spreading rumours to my dogs.‚ÄĚ
    ‚Äē Andy Warhol¬†Andy was addicted to Gossip…

But WHY is Gossip So Tempting?

Why do sincere, Jesus loving, Bible believing, Gospel sharing, Christians, love to gossip about others?

The Bible gives us the answer: “The words of a gossip are like choice morsels; they go down to a man‚Äôs inmost parts‚ÄĚ (Proverbs.¬†26:22)

Read that again:

“The words of a gossip are like choice morsels; they go down to a man‚Äôs inmost parts‚ÄĚ (Proverbs.¬†26:22)

i.e. Gossip is a bit like the promise of the old¬†Heineken¬†Beer advert, it can reach down into places no other beer can reach…¬†LOL

Gossip, according to God’s Word “goes down into a man’s inmost parts“… It tickles our fancy… It appeals to our flesh… It excites our desires.

1 Peter 4:15 (NIV) “If you suffer, it should not be as a murderer or thief or any other kind of criminal, or even as a meddler.”

A Meddler: is a¬†back-seat¬†driver, a¬†busybody,¬†nosey-parker, it’s a person who meddles in the affairs of others.

Did you know?

Did you know that a Gossip / Gossipper cannot enter into the kingdom of Heaven?

In God’s Eyes: A Gossip is a MURDERER… (Because you are killing someone else with your words).

“Since they thought it foolish to acknowledge God, he abandoned them to their foolish thinking and let them do things that should never be done. Their lives became full of every kind of wickedness, sin, greed, hate, envy, murder,¬†quarrelling, deception, malicious¬†behaviour, and gossip. They are¬†backstabbers, haters of God, insolent, proud, and boastful. They invent new ways of sinning, and they disobey their parents. They refuse to understand, break their promises, are heartless, and have no mercy. They know God‚Äôs justice requires that those who do these things deserve to die, yet they do them anyway. Worse yet, they encourage others to do them, too.” (Romans¬†1:28-32 NLT)

Those who do those things; i.e. like GOSSIP,¬†deserve¬†to die… Ouch! Now that’s so serious.

Isn’t it strange? We always think that things like; murder, adultery, fornication¬†etc..¬†are so serious that someone needs to be punished for doing them, but NOT Gossip… Yet God’s warning us all today about the seriousness of Gossip, Meddling and Slander.

  • Have you ever Gossiped¬†about someone?
  • Have you ever Listened to Gossip?¬†
  • Have you ever Delighted in Gossip?

When we’re honest with ourselves, we’ll readily admit that we have. Let’s admit it to the Lord too:

Prayer:
Oh LORD! I have to admit that I have listened to gossip, many times, fool that I am, forgive me Lord.
Oh LORD! I also have to admit that there are times that I’ve started gossip, wicked person that I am, forgive me Lord.
Oh LORD! Please fill me to overflowing with your Holy Spirit, help me in the area of Gossip and Slander and Malicious talk. Amen!

Dr Dale A Robbins has a wonderful Biblical insight into the Dangers of Gossip.

(Excerpted from his sight).

Things to Remember about Gossip

  • Gossip is as sinful as murder and will suffer the same consequences unless there is repentance (Rom.¬†1:32).
  • God holds you accountable to your words (Matt.¬†12:36-37).
  • The person who gossips to you about others, also gossips to others about you.
  • Gossip & slander disqualifies persons for spiritual leadership (1 Tim.¬†3:11,¬†Jas.¬†3:2).
  • Gossip often masks as pretentious concerns for others.
  • Gossip often thrives upon secrecy. Where secrecy is removed, gossip is hampered.
  • Gossip always contributes to a problem and never to a solution.
  • Gossip always distorts and exaggerates, and is never a reliable source of truth.
  • Those who gossip & slander are not in right fellowship with God (Rom. 1:28-32).
  • Those who gossip rarely get answers to prayer, and often face persistent, unexplainable problems (Psalms¬†66:18,¬†Prov.¬†21:23, Prov.¬†6:12-15).

What to do about Gossip?

  • If you have been a gossiper, confess this as sin and ask Christ to forgive you. ‚ÄúRepent‚ÄĚ by turning in a new direction and surrendering your tongue to Christ, not to gossip or bad-mouth again (1 John¬†1:9, 1¬†Cor.¬†7:10).
  • Keep your nose out of other people‚Äôs business.
  • If you can‚Äôt say something good or encouraging about others, then keep your mouth shut (Eph.¬†4:29).
  • Never criticize another person, except to their own face with an intent to help. Criticism can never be ‚Äúconstructive‚ÄĚ if expressed to anyone else.
  • If your ‚Äúfriends‚ÄĚ start bad-mouthing others to you, stop them in their tracks — refuse to be a partaker of their sins (1 Tim¬†5:22).
  • Avoid association with persons who gossip (Prov.¬†20:19).
  • Expose works of darkness by reporting gossip to the pastor / minister that he may confront and offer correction. Gossip should be treated as any other vile sin (Eph.¬†5:11).

‚ÄúI will watch my ways and keep my tongue from sin; I will put a muzzle on my mouth as long as the wicked are in my presence‚ÄĚ (Psalms¬†39:1).

It’s my hope and prayer that you’re going to have an awesome weekend full of the joy of the Lord Jesus.

Stay close to Him every day and remember to ask for the filling of Holy Spirit. We all need it every day. Amen!

Don.

 

Wondering Why?

War, Famine, Refugees, Injustice, Pain, Hurt, Jesus, Hope, Faith and LOVE

Daily Spirit & Word: 613: Wondering Why?

“He WILL Wipe Away EVERY Tear From Their Eyes”

Good morning everyone, last night was the first real cold evening of the year, with a cold wind, slight drizzle and brooding sky we ventured out to share the Good News on the Streets. Understandably we got into very few¬†lengthy¬†conversations with people, but handed out more tracts than we’ve ever done. However, Sherrie was the one last night who did manage to have a long conversation with a woman who attended the local Roman Catholic church for over 30 years. She was a devout Catholic, but didn’t know the Bible at all, had no assurance of her Salvation, and just trusted in her ‘religion’ to save her. She didn’t know Jesus as Lord or Saviour. It’s such a shame that a person can be fooled into thinking that being ‘religious’ will save them on the day of judgement. Sherrie gently shared the Good News and the woman, who was in a rush to get home initially, stopped for over 20 mins chatting, listening and asking questions.

One thing the Catholic woman said was, “Nobody Knows what Heaven is like, because no one has come back to tell us”.

However, we do have one who came down from Heaven to tell us, not so much what it is like, but to get ready and get right so that we will be able to get into Heaven when we die. Sherrie unpacked that TRUTH for the woman last night.

  • We do not know, but God has promised that one day we will know EVERYTHING.
  • We don’t know why there is so much suffering and harsh treatment of innocent people.
  • We don’t know why there are dictators who care little about their own citizens.
  • We don’t know why men will scheme and go to war to kill thousands with bombs and bullets.
  • We don’t know why the good people suffer, whilst evil people seem to prosper.

However, we do know that one day we will KNOW EVERYTHING.

It’s just that the LORD wants us to trust Him, even though we don’t know everything now.

Not knowing why God allows these things does not mean that He’s lost control or is powerless to do something about it. He does in fact, but we can’t often see the¬†forest¬†for the trees. When we look at the reverse side of a tapestry it just looks like a complete mess, but turn it over and we observe the magnificent beauty of delicately crafted and skilful needlework, but it’s not until we take a few steps back that we see the whole picture and it’s AWESOME. When we get to Heaven, we’re going to see and know what they Lord has been doing all along in Human history. He will be glorified: and we will praise Him for His magnificent beauty of holiness.

When Job had lost everything he had, except his own life, he just knelt down and worshipped the Lord. He declared,

Job 1:18-22
18 ¬†While he was still speaking, yet another messenger came and said, “Your sons and daughters were feasting and drinking wine at the oldest brother’s house,¬†19 ¬†when suddenly a mighty wind swept in from the desert and struck the four corners of the house. It collapsed on them and they are dead, and I am the only one who has escaped to tell you!”
20 ¬†At this, Job got up and tore his robe and shaved his head. Then he fell to the ground in worship¬†21 ¬†and said: “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I shall depart. The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away; may the name of the LORD be praised.”¬†22 ¬†In all this, Job did not sin by charging God with wrongdoing.

My friends, we don’t KNOW it all just now in this life, but we still worship, trust and praise the LORD. We are not overjoyed about the evil that’s happening, but we can be at PEACE through everything that comes upon us and the people that we love in this world.

1 Corinthians 13:12-13
12  Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known. 13  And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

That’s why there are no real Atheists, because they don’t KNOW everything, to say that there is definitely no God who Created everything is logically flawed, to be able to say that with conviction, you’d have to know everything. But we don’t even know very much about the Earth, not really, we’re just sitting on the top of an iceberg of understanding, we can’t even see what’s beneath the surface, yet. In some place or space in the universe that we don’t know, is there room for the God who could have made it all? Of course there is, because He did: It may seem disorderly and random, but just take a look through the microscope and you’ll¬†observe¬†wonders to behold; order and structure and amazing beauty. You’ll see the fingerprints of God and marvel at the Creative genius behind it all.

We don’t know WHY He allows so much evil to persist upon the earth between human beings, but we can still have; faith, hope and love through life: When we get to the Lord’s side, then we will know fully, even as we are fully known by the Lord.

In the meantime, He’s given us work to do for His Kingdom and Glory: He wants us all to be on His rescue mission, to save as many souls as we can for His Heaven. Let’s just keep at it, for when one soul is saved and delivered from the slavery of sin to the freedom of the Saints, they too will be about the Lord’s work and will be filled with the HOPE of Heaven in their hearts.

There is also so much good we can do to¬†alleviate¬†the suffering and injustice in this world too: We can be an influence for good and for peace. Think about the STREET CHILDREN around the world, they live in constant fear, suffer hunger and incredible injustice. The authorities seem to hate them and they are living with the dread of something happening to them at the hands of evil men. Think about places upon the earth when people are fleeing war or famine or disaster; be filled afresh with God’s compassion and get involved. We can all do something, even if it’s something small, it all helps to spread the good and the LOVE of God.

  • We can pray and seek God’s will to be done on earth as it is in Heaven. That’s what Jesus told us to pray for.
  • We can pray and ask for daily bread, not just for ourselves, but for those who don’t have any.
  • We can pray and be part of God’s Healing for people; when you pray and lay your hands upon people in the power of God’s Holy Spirit, miracles can and still do happen for people who don’t even know the Lord yet.

When you weep at the injustice and brutality of evil regimes upon the earth, bring those tears to God and ask for Him to bring His swift justice for the poor and the weak and those who can’t speak for themselves. The Israelites were in bondage in Egypt for over 200 years, then the Lord heard their cries and brought the Ten Plagues upon Egypt. He does things in His own time, but we can and should be crying out to Him. Perhaps He’s just waiting for your prayers today and then He’ll move???? You know my friends, God cares far more about injustice than we do. He loves far more than we do. He is in control of the situation and will move in His own good time: Watch and Pray!

In the meantime we have God’s PROMISES:

Revelation 21:3-8
3 ¬†And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God.
4 ¬†He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”
5 ¬†He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.”
6 ¬†He said to me: “It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To him who is thirsty I will give to drink without cost from the spring of the water of life.
7  He who overcomes will inherit all this, and I will be his God and he will be my son.
8 ¬†But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practise magic arts, the idolaters and all liars‚ÄĒtheir place will be in the fiery lake of burning sulphur. This is the second death.”

Have an awesome Thursday with Jesus.

Stay close, worship Him no matter what you are feeling like today.

Don.

 

The Christian’s Call To Holiness Today

The Christians's Call To Holiness

Daily Spirit & Word: 551: The Christian’s Holiness Today.

“There will come a time when the love of most will grow cold.”

Good morning my friends, I’m so sad that I couldn’t post yesterday. However, I’m re-assured by some of you who’ve been telling me that’s it’s given you a chance to catch-up on some of my writings. I know it’s HARD to follow, when someone writes as I do, sooooooo much ūüôā You’ll find countless, hundreds of other daily devotionals that are much shorter, more pithy and pointed. You’ll get a truth from them that will sustain you for a day or a whole week. Praise the LORD for them! I also read some of them too. However, I’m not called by the LORD to be short or concise. Sometimes, I’ll be short, but mostly, I just share what the LORD has put upon my heart to share.

 Matthew 24:9-14
9 ¬† “Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be¬†hated by all nations¬†because of me.
10  At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other,
11  and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people.
12  Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold,
13  but he who stands firm to the end will be saved.
14  And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.

THE LOVE OF MOST WILL GROW COLD

Today, the Lord Jesus is speaking to me (personally) about Holiness. How He called me and every Christian to be Holy. Now holiness is NOT easy, especially as we live in a fallen world, where the love of most for the things of God has gone completely cold, even amongst the churches. It seems to me that the world and the church have fallen away from the high calling of Jesus Christ in the new testament to be a holy people. However, there are a few faithful left, but the world and the¬†worldly¬†church hate them, because we stand out like a sore thumb. It’s evident to the world today who the true followers of Jesus Christ are; because they will not go along with the ways of the world, they love the Lord and His Word too much for that. But in doing so, in being committed to living according to Jesus teachings, they’ve become targets. Nobody likes to be singled out or viewed as different or odd, yet that’s exactly what Jesus warned His own disciples they¬†would¬†become or be to the world and the worldly church.

FOR INSTANCE: Reverend Melvin Tinker:

He is a Minister in the province of York who protested about the blessing and prayers offered by the staff of York Minster for the ‘Gay Pride Parade’. His public protest hit the headlines and even reached Parliament. He was ridiculed on the BBC and by the Prime Minister, because he dared to stand up for God’s standards revealed in the Bible about morality. The world really does hate the saints when we declare boldly God’s standards of holiness and life.

The LOVE (Holiness, Devotion, Dedication and Faithfulness) of MOST will grow cold.

If Jesus was physically upon the earth today, I’m convinced that He would shout loudly and say, “The End IS Near: Repent and turn to God and walk in Holiness: Judgement is imminent”.

His call has always included a sacrifice from those who respond; the sacrifice for sins is finished with in His own blood upon the Cross, but the sacrifice He expects in return is death to self (selfishness, self-determination, self-will). Jesus’ call is for ALL His followers (Disciples) is to BE Holy.¬†Romans 12:1 “Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God‚ÄĒthis is your spiritual act of worship.”

Holiness of LIFE:

It’s living a separated life. That’s what HOLY means:

The word translated ‘Holy’ in the Greek of the New Testament is ‘Hagios’ (Scottish Christians love that, because it reminds them of their favourite food ‘Haggis’).

Hagios: Is translated in three main ways:

  • Holy: 161 times.
    Saints: 61 times.
    Holy One: 4 times.
    Miscellaneous translations 3
  • [Total Count: 229] Strong’s Talking Greek & Hebrew Dictionary.

The Temple Was Holy: (Because of God’s presence in God’s Holy Place).
The Jewish People Were Holy: (Because He made them Holy by selecting them out from among all the people on Earth).
The Christian Is Called To Be Holy: (Because God the Holy Spirit lives in the Believer: 1 Corinthians 6:19-20)
The Christian Is NOW Part of God’s Holy Called-Out People:

1 Peter 2:9-12¬†“But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him¬†who called you out¬†of darkness into his wonderful light.
10  Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.
11  Dear friends, I urge you, as aliens and strangers in the world, to abstain from sinful desires, which war against your soul.
12¬†¬†Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us.”

God’s calling His Church and Jesus calling His Followers (Disciples) to BE HOLY.

William Barclay said; “In the first days of Christianity there was a glory and a splendour, but now Christianity had become a thing of habit, “traditional, half-hearted, nominal.”¬†Barclay’s Daily Study Bible (NT).

William Barclay was not writing about the state of the church today, but the state of the¬†church¬†by the end of the first century. He was commenting upon the state of affairs that the Apostle John was writing to address at the end of his life in his first Epistle ‘1 John’. A ‘nominal’ Christian is one who loves being religious, but his ‘religion’ doesn’t affect his behaviour in the world. He lives like everyone else in society. He’s become a false-convert that Jesus warned about in the Parables; someone who has a form of holiness, but¬†doesn’t¬†live according to his professed belief. John said that a person like that, who “Claims to walk in the light, but continues to sin, cannot have fellowship with God” i.e. He cannot really be converted, the Holy Spirit has never done His work of conversion upon that person’s heart.

What is it that makes many half-hearted, false-believers fall away from their half-hearted ‘nominal’ form of Christianity? Jesus tells us clearly; “Because of the increase of wickedness…” Matthew 24:12. Be sure of this, no true believer will ever fall away from Jesus Christ, only those who were false-converts to begin with.

Romans 8:35-39
35  Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?
36 ¬†As it is written: “For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”
37  No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.
38  For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39  neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

NOTHING can or will be able to separate the true follower of the Lord Jesus Christ for their Master: NOTHING.

However, there will be a pull, a tugging of the heart-strings and a war of the Saints: Because nobody likes to live at odds with those around them. Compromise and half-hearted responses to worldly ways (just like York Minster’s response to the Gay Pride Parade) will be the condition of MOST, but not all. There will always be few who’ll remain faithful to the Lord, His Word and His Teachings until He returns.

His call to you and me is “BE HOLY”.

But the Christians’ response, because our nature has been transformed by the Holy Spirit, is to welcome holiness as a way of life, it’s not a burden, it’s a strong inward desire to live in accordance to the will of God. Our Spirit, will and desires are in line with His, we want to be walking as Jesus walked. We are daily being transformed into the likeness and character of the Lord Jesus Christ. We’re going to become; more loving, good, pure, holy, happy, joy-filled, peaceful, righteous, forgiving, patient, kind, generous, giving, gentle and self-controlled. What a wonderful full and abundant life we’ve been called to and set-apart for, but it’s not going to be EASY as the world moves further and further away from God’s revealed standards of holiness.

Holiness is NOT a lifestyle choice for Christians, it’s a loving response to His Call upon our lives.

Don’t be surprised that the world hates you because of what you believe and the way that you want to live for Jesus, because Jesus warned us all in advance that this is what it’s going to be like just before He comes back again. There will be an increase of wickedness (sinfulness) in the last days. That’s obvious is we watch the News for just a few moments. However, you, dear brothers and sisters, be strong and of good courage as you live in the last-days.

Praise the LORD because, despite it all, we can be FULL OF THE JOY OF THE LORD.

Be Holy, be ready, be full of the JOY of the Lord.

Don.

 

God’s Reward For Those Who Endure Persecution

Persecution of Christians

Daily Spirit & Word: 540: God’s Reward For Those Who Endure Persecution.

Standing Firm To The End.

Good morning my friends, we had an amazing visit from e-Gangs Website in church yesterday. It’s an off-shoot ministry of David Wilkerson’s “Teen Challenge”, they are going back to their roots, reaching people who’re involved in the street-gang culture and those who may be drawn into that way of life. Everyone who spoke yesterday had a background in drugs, imprisonment and gangs or street life. They gave powerful testimonies of how God had delivered them from the darkness into the light.

What struck me deeply was the fact that God can and will reach into the hearts of those that we deem ‘un-reachable’. There is no heart or soul that is not like an open book to the Holy Spirit. He can penetrate all the passwords and access the secret places. On the outside a tough gang member looks scary and must appear to be so to his friends, but more often than not on the inside is a frightened, frustrated and fearful little boy. He’s been looking for; family, security, friendship and fun all his life. He’ll find that in gang-culture and we also know that once a person comes to Jesus and surrenders, they’ll also get that in God’s Kingdom Family. Once you’ve got Jesus, you’ve got family and friends.

It was Paul’s wife who spoke powerfully yesterday from God’s Word about Jacob, who was touched in the HOLLOW PLACE and that’s what God needs to do with each and every one of us too; to touch us in the places of need: We fill that void with the things of this world, but they were meant to be filled with the one who created the world and gave us life.

Afterwards, I was speaking with someone who’s family didn’t understand what had happened to him since he trusted Jesus. They saw a change in his nature, character and lifestyle, but they were not yet ready for that kind of change and rejected him. So don’t be surprised if people don’t ‘get you’ once you get Jesus.

“Don’t be surprised if people don’t get you once you get Jesus.”

Mark 13:9-13 (NIV) Persecutions In The End Times. 
9¬†¬†“You must be on your guard. You will be handed over to the local councils and flogged in the synagogues. On account of me you will stand before governors and kings as witnesses to them.¬†10¬†¬†And the gospel must first be preached to all nations.¬†11¬†¬†Whenever you are arrested and brought to trial, do not worry beforehand about what to say. Just say whatever is given you at the time, for it is not you speaking, but the Holy Spirit.¬†12¬†¬†“Brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child. Children will rebel against their parents and have them put to death.¬†13¬†¬†All men will hate you because of me, but he who stands firm to the end will be saved.

Pilgrim’s Progress:

At the end of Pilgrim’s journey, just before the gates of Heaven, there was another doorway that led to Hell. The Christian must stand firm with Jesus Christ all the way to the end. He never promised us and easy ride through life. Jesus didn’t say, “Come to me and trust me as Saviour and everything will be OK from that point on”. In fact, Jesus warned His followers of the opposition and persecution they would endure for His sake. Just because they were followers of Christ, they’d¬†be hated, lied about and betrayed.

What’s most difficult is the fact that members of a Christian’s own family would betray them, even when that betrayal meant death. This has happened my friends; in History and even today, Christians are being taken to courts, even here in the United Kingdom (UK), just for being obedient followers of Jesus Christ. We’re living in an¬†increasingly¬†‘Christianophobic’ society; there’s a deep fear and suspicion of believers. Many things are being said about us; “Christians are narrow-minded”, “Christians are bigots”, “Christians hate people” etc… ¬†These accusations are not new, the world has hated Christians from the beginning.

We’ll admit to following a ‘narrow-path’ that leads to eternal life, but that doesn’t mean we’re narrow-minded, quite the opposite in fact, because we know that the Gospel is for everyone, the good news is for all people on earth; that’s the most open minded kind of message I’ve ever heard.

“Christians are¬†Bigots”: What about that statement? What is a¬†Bigot?

Meaning of Bigot: A prejudiced person who is intolerant of any opinions differing from his own.

Well, we’ve got to admit that in some instances we’re guilty of being Bigoted. We do hold opinions, but they are not our own, they come from God. We don’t follow our own understanding or our own¬†logic¬†or reasoning, but we hold unswervingly to the opinions, decrees, dictates and commands of our LORD.

There is an element of truth in every false statement and characterisation of Christians. We can be seen as being bigoted because we will not be shaken from our belief that the plain meaning of God’s Word has a final say in any matter relating to life. However, what’s confusing for the people in the world, those who are still in darkness, is that not everyone who calls themselves ‘Christian’ actually follows God’s Word. It’s only those who are filled and empowered by God’s Holy Spirit who will endure all hardships, accusations and trials to the end.

  • Have you been feeling persecuted for your faith lately?
  • Are you enduring or are you feeling like you need to give in and follow the crowd, follow the world’s way?

Jesus has warned us that the world hates (cannot tolerate) committed followers of His teachings.

Not only will you experience this intolerant attitude from the world, but they’ll not be understanding either. They will not take time to sit down with believers and ask them, “Why is it that you think this way?”

Why? Why don’t they want to understand? Why will they run away from a knowledge and understanding of why Christians only follow God’s Word? It’s because deep down, they already KNOW, because God has written His Laws upon their hearts too.

Hebrews 8:10 (NIV) “This is the covenant I will make with the house of Israel¬†after that time, declares the Lord.¬†I will put my laws in their minds¬†and write them on their hearts.¬†I will be their God,¬†and they will be my people.”

Hebrews 10:16¬†16¬†¬†“This is the covenant I will make with them¬†after that time, says the Lord.¬†I will put my laws in their hearts,¬†and I will write them on their minds.”¬†

So people who don’t yet know Jesus¬†as LORD,¬†who are still in the darkness, already have God’s LAW (Moral, Holy Standards) written upon their hearts and minds. That’s why they don’t want to know why Christians will not move or change their minds about certain ways of living or being in the world today, because they already KNOW, they just don’t want to live God’s way.

Staying With Jesus To The END:

God wants you to persevere to the end: To HOLD Unswervingly (that could be called in a bigoted or narrow-minded way) to the hope we profess.

Hebrews 10:23-25 23  Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.
24¬†¬†And let us consider how we may spur one another on towards love and good deeds.¬†25¬†¬†Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another‚ÄĒand all the more as you see the Day approaching.¬†

Remembering HOW you were delivered from DARKNESS into the LIGHT is critically important for believers today: Because this will encourage you to endure to the END.

Hebrews 10:32-36¬† “Remember those earlier days after you had received the light, when you stood your ground in a great contest in the face of suffering.¬†33¬†¬†Sometimes you were publicly exposed to insult and persecution; at other times you stood side by side with those who were so treated.¬†34¬†¬†You sympathised with those in prison and joyfully accepted the confiscation of your property, because you knew that you yourselves had better and lasting possessions.¬†35¬†¬†So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded.¬†36¬†¬†You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised.”

What is it that God has promised those who endure to the end? The CROWN of LIFE:

God’s PROMISE: The Crown of LIFE:

James 1:12¬†“Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.”

If we keep in mind eternity, then we’ll always be able to endure any hardship.

This place (anywhere on earth) is NOT the Christian’s HOME or Home Country, because our HOME and our HOPE is HEAVEN.

It is my hope and prayer that every true follower of the Lord Jesus Christ will find fellowship, family and fun whilst here on the earth, but also that if and when things get tough, you’ll also be able to endure every hardship to the end. Praying for Christ’s indwelling power for an exciting week.

Have an awesome week, enduring all things for Christ’s sake.

Don.

 

Love One Another

Love Like Jesus

Daily Spirit & Word, 484: Love One Another.

It’s our LOVE for one another that is one of the tests we can use to discover if we’ve passed from death to life. In other words, to know if we’ve been born of God’s Holy Spirit and are true followers of Jesus Christ, if we’re living in obedience to His commands to LOVE Him first and LOVE one another.

Good morning my friends. Don’t you just LOVE Sundays? I do because I can gather with brothers and sisters in my eternal family and we can worship our Lord Jesus Christ together.

Yesterday I took my grandchildren Aminata and Leila to Bockett‚Äôs Farm Park in Surrey, what a great day out it was. They had fun on the tractors, fed the little lambs and the sheep and goats and petted the rabbits and horses. There was pig racing and castles to explore. Then they enjoyed the awesome children’s play areas and we all sat down for some sandwiches that my wife had prepared for us.

When I paid for entrance to Bockett‚Äôs Farm they gave us a yellow wrist-band, this shows that we’re paid up and allowed on all the rides and can enjoy the whole of Bockett‚Äôs Farm. WOWzer! What a gift of a sermon Illustration: Imagine if God gave every single one of us an Yellow Bracelet to show that we’re Paid Up Members of His Kingdom Family? And we can have access to all the rights of the Children of God in the Kingdom?¬†It would be easy for anyone to recognise that we belong to the LORD.

Well, we do have a kind of wrist-band and He’s revealing it today: It’s Called LOVE.

1 John 3:11-24
11  This is the message you heard from the beginning: We should love one another.
12 ¬†Do not be like Cain, who belonged to the evil one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his own actions were evil and his brother’s were righteous.
13  Do not be surprised, my brothers, if the world hates you.
14  We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love our brothers. Anyone who does not love remains in death.
15  Anyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life in him.
16  This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers.
17  If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him?
18  Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth.
19  This then is how we know that we belong to the truth, and how we set our hearts at rest in his presence 20  whenever our hearts condemn us. For God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything. 21  Dear friends, if our hearts do not condemn us, we have confidence before God 22  and receive from him anything we ask, because we obey his commands and do what pleases him. 23  And this is his command: to believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and to love one another as he commanded us. 24  Those who obey his commands live in him, and he in them. And this is how we know that he lives in us: We know it by the Spirit he gave us.

The Steps to Faith and Trust In Jesus:

When you come to faith in Jesus Christ: It involves definite steps: Those steps can sometimes be instant and for others a much longer journey.

The Steps to Faith and Trust in Jesus Are:

1) An awareness of our NEED of a SAVIOUR: The Holy Spirit draws us to God the Father and Faith in Jesus Christ, by first producing a hunger for Righteousness: The NEED to be right with God.

2) The Holy Spirit makes us aware that we’re NOT Righteous in ourselves, because of our Sin. He convicts the world of guilt… That’s one of His functions as God The Holy Spirit. It’s His task from Jesus and the Father. (This is the process that can either be instant or can take some time,¬†because¬†people confuse Religious Activity with Righteousness. They get involved with ‘church’ and begin to do the things that real believers do, thinking they are saved because of it.)

3) The Gospel Shows us God’s Solution for Righteousness: That He sent Jesus Christ to die on the Cross in our place to make us right with God:¬†Righteousness¬†Satisfied: We’re RIGHTEOUS when we’re in Christ.

4) We’re convicted and moved to REPENT¬†of our sins and put our faith and trust in God’s revealed solution to our righteousness¬†problem. We then comply with the Spirit’s call and respond to Jesus invitation to RECEIVE Him as both LORD and Saviour.

5) We’re SAVED:¬†We begin a New Life in Jesus Christ: He gives us New Life by sending the Holy Spirit into our hearts and bringing about the New Birth: We’re born again, Regenerated, Renewed by the Holy Spirit. (The Washing of Rebirth)

6) When the Holy Spirit comes into our life: Some things happens to us:

  1. a) We no longer view the¬†Commandmentsas a threat: i.e. “You must do this” “You must not do that”, but as promises; “You will not want to tell lies, steal or lust” “You will want to Love God with all your heart, mind, soul and strength; and Love your neighbour as yourself”.
  2. b) Those changes come as we’re filled with God’s LOVE by the Spirit He gives us. (Verse 24).
  3. c) The Holy Spirit Begins to Transform Us: Sanctification: Into the Likeness of Christ: Producing the Fruit of the Spirit: Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness and Self-Control. That’s what Jesus was like and is like today. That’s what we’re being transformed into: The Likeness of Christ.
  4. d) The Holy Spirit Gifts: Tongues, Word’s of Knowledge, Healing, Discernment, Administration, Prophesy, Service, Hospitality, LOVE. The Greatest Gift Being LOVE.

Death To LIFE: Verse 14.

“We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love our brothers. Anyone who does not love remains in death.”

So we can know today if we’ve passed from death to life (Verse 14) if we LOVE our brothers. i.e. Our neighbours, our fellow Christians, our workmates, our own family members. If we’ve got hatred in our hearts instead of LOVE, then we’ve NOT been born again by God’s Holy Spirit (Verse 24). Though we may want or even demand to be viewed as Christians because of everything else we’ve done; our religious devotion, our church activity, our charitable acts, etc, etc, but if we don’t LOVE others all these things are like a Clanging (Very Loud: Cymball). 1 Corinthians 13.

Cain Vs Christ.

Cain and Jesus are examples of the extremes between hating and loving.

Let’s Compare and Contrast: Cain and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Cain: 1 John 3:12 Do not be like Cain, who belonged to the evil one and murdered his brother.

Jesus: 1 John 3:16 16  This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers.

Cain TOOK LIFE:
Jesus GIVES LIFE.

What was their MOTIVATION?

Cain: Angry and Jealous and Bitter: Because God accepted Able’s offering.

Jesus: Love: Love motivated Jesus to offer His life. 1 John 3:16 and John 3:16.

How Can we KNOW if we are LOVING our Brothers and Sisters or NOT?

Well, our reading gives some indication: 1 John 3:16-18. (This is HOW we KNOW).
16  This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers. (Are we laying down our lives for others? Self-Sacrifice: Greed = wanting the biggest slice, more money than others, better houses than others. Avarice, The need to have so much that you can dominate others. The need to win arguments???)
17 ¬†If anyone has material possessions and¬†sees his brother in need¬†but¬†has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him? (How can the LOVE of God be in us if we don’t respond to need? Some people ask us when we’re out sharing Jesus, “How can there be a God of Love when He allows so much suffering of innocent people; perhaps God allows this suffering to show his love through the Saints He’s called into His family: I.e. God has no hands but our hands, He has no feet but our feet, He has no mouth but the Christian’s mouth in this world…)
18 ¬†Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth. (God wants us to DEMONSTRATE that we’re actually LIVING IN OBEDIENCE to the Commandments of Jesus Christ).

Let’s look at that great chapter on LOVE:

1 Corinthians 13:1-13
1  If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.
2  If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.
3  If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing.
(WOWzer! You’d think that a person who did all these things was really good, loving and kind, wouldn’t you? But the Bible tells us that even though we are doing these things, we can do them in a LOVELESS WAY.).
Now let’s continue in Corinthians 13:
4  Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.
5  It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.
6  Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.
7  It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
8  Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away.
9  For we know in part and we prophesy in part,
10  but when perfection comes, the imperfect disappears.
11  When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me.
12  Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.
13  And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

Respond: 

My friends, what can you do this week to show that you have passed from DEATH to LIFE?

How can you love each other more?

Examples: How can you help the homeless? How can you help the widow, the single parent, the refugee, the alien and stranger, the lonely, the depressed, those who are suffering, the poor, the weak, the strong, the rich, the proud, etc… How will you help?

  • First: Don’t be¬†overwhelmed: That’s what stops a lot of Christians from doing what they know they should do.
  • Second: Don’t be¬†afraid: Fear can cripple our LOVE. It’s actions speak louder than words.
  • Third:¬†Trust: Trust again in Jesus and receive His LOVE into your own heart. Know that He really loves you and then be filled afresh with His LOVE. Ask for His Divine Help and Power to do what you know you should.

Be FULL of LOVE and Act in LOVE towards EVERYONE.

Conclusion: 

My friends, The WHOLE of God’s WORD is filled with this awesome message: God IS LOVE. John 3:16, Romans 13:8, John 13:34-35, 1 John 3.

Those who say they LOVE God will PROVE their love for Him by how they act towards others in the world.

We won’t just SAY we love others, but we’ll actually feel it, we’ll want to lay down our lives for others, that’s the fullness of LOVE, that’s why God has said it in so many different ways in His Word.

The Greatest Gift of the Holy Spirit, the Greatest Gift that God can and will give us is LOVE.

This is how we know if we’ve passed from DEATH to LIFE.

We’ll show it by our ACTIONS ¬†and ATTITUDES towards one another. ¬†We’ll actively LOVE One Another.

My friends, is there a want of love in your heart today? This is how we know if we’ve passed from DEATH (God’s curse upon a sinful person is Death for sin) to LIFE (New Life comes when we REPENT and TRUST God’s SAVIOUR: Jesus Christ).

Then you can know if you’re truly Born of God’s Spirit.

If you have got the Spirit of God and you are less loving than you should be; REPENT and receive and be filled with His Holy Spirit afresh today.

May the LORD bless this reading and insight into His Word Today. Amen!

I’m praying for everyone who says they really love Jesus today, and those who truly want to follow Him every single day, that we’ll know the wrist-band of LOVE. We’ll wear it with pride and we’ll get more love into our hearts when we become aware that we’re not being as loving as we should be. Let us LOVE One Another. Amen!