Isn’t God Awesome?

bringing people to Jesus

Daily Spirit & Word: 797: Isn’t God Awesome?

God’s Kind Of Kingdom Service.

Yesterday was a dozy of a day. I got ready for the school visit to church, set-up the OHP ready for a powerpoint presentation on the miracles of Jesus. Only to find out after setting it all up that they were not going to show. Ahh Well, that was a good test-run ūüôā LOL.

So I visited a lady in the parish who wanted a thanksgiving for her granddaughter. Then following a long¬†conversation, in which she said, “I’ve been coming to that church longer than you”. ¬†Which made me smile¬†inside¬† because I’ve only met her once before. I’ve been at St Luke’s for just over eight years now. However, our conversation ended with one of the best Gospel encounters I’ve ever had. She was ripe and ready for the Good News. God’s timing or what? Please pray, because she wants me to share the Gospel with her daughter this morning.

Then when I was just putting my feet up for the evening I got a call from a distressed lady who was upset because a man, crippled down one side of his body, had been locked out of his apartment by the Landlord. He was sitting outside in the cold. I telephoned a few of the Emergency services, who all said they couldn’t help him. I even phoned the police, but they couldn’t legally do anything either. So in the end, we rang our resident lock-smith who came to the rescue. God sends his angels in all sorts of disguises. We got the man into his flat and he was happy, because now he could get his much needed medications. Then I got a lift back home from the locksmith and we had a little prayer…

Yesterday reminds me that serving Lord Jesus is not always going to be easy or convenient, but it always turns out to be AWESOME.

Kingdom Service:

Mark 7:32 (NIV) “There some people brought to him (Jesus) a man who was deaf and could hardly talk, and they begged him to place his hand on the man.

That verse today gives us some really helpful instruction about God’s Kind of Kingdom Service: Because you’ll notice in our text five things; Sweat, Sacrifice, Sympathy, Skill and Scout.

SWEAT: “They brought.” The bringing of that deaf man couldn’t have been easy, it required some effort. “They” That indicates to me we are not always to work alone in God’s Kingdom. We need our brothers and sisters to help too. But bringing him to Jesus was not easy to do, but they did it. Service for God is not always an easy task, it might require some sweat at times. However, when you sweat in Kingdom Service there’s always, always God’s rewards; in this life and in the life to come. Praise the Lord for the privilege of sweating for Him.

SACRIFICE: “They brought.” Kingdom Service often requires a price is paid by the servant. “They” had to give up their own time for this man. Time today is such a hard thing for busy people to find. It might not even be convenient, but it’s always time well spent if you are bringing someone to Jesus. The time and effort to get this deaf and dumb man to Jesus Christ, yielded a miracle for that man. You won’t really be serving very well if you are not willing to pay some kind of price and make a few sacrifices of time and effort and anything else that might be necessary in order to serve in Jesus Kingdom.

SYMPATHY: “They¬†brought¬†that man to Jesus.” Those who brought the deaf and dumb man to Jesus that day had to have compassion for him. They must have known what life was like for that poor man, felt his agony, not being able to communicate. Any kind of Kingdom Service means we’ll soon begin to feel God’s Compassion for the needs of others. We all know that it was God’s compassion for us, his love and mercy that moved him to send Jesus to die. No one has ever had more sympathy or compassion for anyone than God, “for God so loved the world that He sent His One and Only Son” (John 3:16). So it shouldn’t ¬†surprise us that we’ve got to share in that same kind of sympathy and compassion for others to serve Him.

SKILL: “They brought and begged.” Not everyone has the same skills, talents or abilities. We’ve all got different natural and spiritual gifts, so because we’re not the same, we’ll be able to use the skills that He’s given to us. Your Skill might not be that of an Evangelist, but in your service for Jesus you might simply be able to bring people to church to hear about Christ, letting someone else use their gifts and skills to bring them to faith. My friends, just because you’ve got different skills don’t despise them or get jealous of others. Just use the gifts and skills, passion and compassion He’s given to you. Each and every skill is required in building God’s Kingdom Family.

SCOUT: However, even though you might have different skills, it’s important that you know where Jesus is and how to bring people to Him. Can you be a good Scout to lead people to Jesus? The deaf and dumb man was brought to Jesus Christ. Those people BEGGED Jesus to just touch the man. We can come to Jesus and beg Him to touch those we want to be saved by Jesus. Those Scouts did a good job that day, because only Jesus Christ could help the deaf and dumb man.

Last night, whilst we were waiting for the Locksmith to come, we got chatting with a Cafe owner¬†across¬†the road. Although he was just closing up for the night, he allowed us to sit a wait, he also gave the crippled man some food. It was meant for him, but he had a tooth-ache. I asked if he believed in miracles to which he said he did. I asked, if I could pray. I placed my hand on the side of his face and asked Jesus to take away his toothache. I don’t know if he was cured instantly, but he shook my hand warmly a few times afterwards and helped me across the road with the man.

There’s no one better for you to bring your friends and family. Even complete strangers need you to show Jesus kind of compassion. The Lord Jesus knows the best ways how to meet all their needs. Be a good Scout for Jesus and beg Him to come and touch your friends.

You know my friends, this world will take people everywhere and to every kind of expert, sometimes they can help, but like last night, it’s ONLY Jesus who really knows what is best for them. Be like those people in Mark’s Gospel, who made a decision that day to take a deaf and dumb man to Jesus and begged Him to touch the man. He did, and he got his miracle.

Do all you can to bring your friends to Jesus Christ: it might involve some; Sweat, Sacrifice, Sympathy, Skill and the ability to Scout out Jesus for them. However, the rewards of Kingdom Service are totally awesome.¬†I’m sure we’re going to see so many fantastic¬†miracles in that kind of Kingdom Service. Amen!

Be blessed today, stay close to Jesus and be filled afresh with Holy Spirit for His Kingdom Service.

Don.

 

Fan into Flame The Gift of God

Peter and John, they took note, these men had been with Jesus

Daily Spirit & Word: 769: Time With Jesus Every Day.

“FAN INTO FLAME THE GIFT OF GOD…” Timothy.

“They Took Note: These Men Had Been With Jesus.” Peter and John.

Good morning my friends, very soon I’m going to begin studying Paul’s Letters to Timothy. These are some of Paul’s warmest and yet most challenging letters in the New Testament. Timothy needed the Apostle’s tender encouragement, we do too. I’ll go through them systematically and you can follow them here at Daily Spirit & Word. However, let’s wet our appetites today with Paul’s¬†encouragement¬†to Timothy, and also Peter and John’s experience of having their GIFT fanned into flame.

2 Timothy 1:3-7 (NIV)
3  I thank God, whom I serve, as my forefathers did, with a clear conscience, as night and day I constantly remember you in my prayers.
4  Recalling your tears, I long to see you, so that I may be filled with joy.
5 I have been reminded of your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and, I am persuaded, now lives in you also.
6  For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands.
7  For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.

That “Gift Of God” sometimes called “The Anointing”: is the passion, zeal and desire to serve the Lord Jesus Christ with your whole heart, soul, mind and strength in the power of the Holy Spirit.

Each and every Christian needs ENCOURAGEMENT: Because this calling is a tough one, we need it to get our flickering flame glowing from a spark into a burning flame of light for Jesus.

One of the things that keeps me on fire is being with Jesus in Daily Study of the Bible. It’s something I’ve been doing since I started following the LORD. Oh yes there have been times when I’ve stopped for a short while, but I can testify from sometimes bitter experience that I’ve been my weakest when I’m not with Jesus every day in His Word.

Daily Bible Study: Is just ONE of the ways you can “Fan into Flame the Gift of God”. How? Because God’s Word FEEDS your soul and spirit. It moves you to praise, prayer and seeking the power of the Lord. You don’t have to read much of God’s Word to soon realise that you NEED His personal presence with you and in you every day.

There are many wonderful gifts the LORD has given His followers that will ignite our faith; here are the main ones, neglect just one at your peril:

How to FAN into FLAME the Gift of God:

What is the gift you’ve been given? First and most important is the GIFT OF FAITH to believe in the LORD Jesus Christ for Salvation.

Here are some of the ways my FIRE keeps going;

1) Prayer, Praise and Thanksgiving…
2) Bible Reading / Study.
3) Fellowship: Gathering in some way with God’s people every day.
4) Worship: Singing, Praising and giving thanks to the Lord.
5) Discipleship: Helping others to grow closer to Jesus with you.
6) Evangelism: This not only brings others into the Kingdom Family, but it also strengthens the faith and gifts that the LORD has given you. Philemon 1:6.
7) Generosity: When you are close to Jesus, you are going to be kind like Jesus. You’ll long to give and give…
8) LOVE: When we’re filled with God’s Holy Spirit daily, we’ll be FULL of His LOVE… This will enable us to LOVE others.
9) ……. I’m open to anything else being added here ūüôā

I try and incorporate these things into my life almost every single day, and in that way, the FLAME is ignited and kept burning brightly for Jesus.

Whilst I know and acknowledge that this would be and is very difficult for most people, you have commitments; family, children, work. You have responsibilities; cleaning, caring, cooking. You have hobbies and need time to relax as well. Non-the-less, time spent with Jesus in one of these ways every day will transform your life. You will notice that suddenly you’ve actually got more free time, more energy, more self-control. You’ll notice that your desires will be changing and you’ll begin to love the opportunities that the LORD is bringing to you.

So many people testify to the fact that they get the POWER from the LORD they’ve been looking for for ages, when they follow these simple steps and put into practice some of the teachings of Jesus every day.

Here’s the verse the LORD put on my heart to share with you today. (NOTE it’s verse 13 from the passage below). Peter and John had healed a man and the commotion that followed led to them being arrested and thrown into prison.

Acts 4:5-14 (NIV)
5  The next day the rulers, elders and teachers of the law met in Jerusalem.
6 ¬†Annas the high priest was there, and so were Caiaphas, John, Alexander and the other men of the high priest’s family.
7 ¬†They had Peter and John brought before them and began to question them: “By what power or what name did you do this?”
8 ¬†Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them: “Rulers and elders of the people!
9  If we are being called to account today for an act of kindness shown to a cripple and are asked how he was healed,
10  then know this, you and all the people of Israel: It is by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified but whom God raised from the dead, that this man stands before you healed.
11 ¬†He is ” ‘the stone you builders rejected, which has become the capstone.’
12 ¬†Salvation is found in no-one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved.”
13  When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realised that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus.
14  But since they could see the man who had been healed standing there with them, there was nothing they could say.

What do I get from this passage?

When you are WITH JESUS EVERY DAY: You’ll soon see miracles happening all around you too. The miracles might seem small to start with, but they’ll encourage you and “FAN INTO FLAME THE GIFT OF FAITH GOD HAS GIVEN YOU”… even more.

When you do things, good things, for Jesus; then it can lead to persecution. Jesus promised this would happen. It’s happening today my friends, to Christians all over the world. In England too; the other day in Bristol a man who was being abused by a large crowd when out preaching the Gospel and was arrested. He was exercising his freedom to speak¬†publicly (something we can do legally here in the UK), but he was arrested instead of the ones abusing him. Don’t be surprised when persecution comes, but still; be gentle, be loving, be kind and compassionate, because it happened to Jesus as well.

We think today that the Methodists are very peaceful people, indeed they are, but when John Wesley visited a town or village in Cornwall, there were riots, he was often chased out of town, with all sorts of things being thrown at him. He noted in his journals, “It was a good day today, only three rotten tomatoes and a dead cat thrown at me”…

John Wesley was a Holy Spirit anointed and gifted preacher, thousands were moved to tears and repentance when he spoke, but his experience in Scotland (Accross the Tweed) needs special note.

“The applications of Wesley‚Äôs sermons were never slurred (He strove for simplicity and application). The discourses in the Scotch kirks (churches) struck him as specially defective in this respect. 1 On one occasion he speaks of the excellent truths he there listened to, but adds, ‚ÄúAs there was no application, it is likely to do as much good as the singing of a lark.” His own experience in Scotland was not encouraging. Though he never met with people who loved preaching like his friends across the Tweed, he often felt helpless in the presence of those self-contained hearers. ‚ÄúUse the most cutting words, and apply them in the most pointed manner, still they hear, but feel no more than the seats they sit upon !”¬†http://wesley.nnu.edu/?id=102

Sometimes, even the most gifted, powerful and Spirit filled preachers can’t break through the hardest hearts. It might be helpful to note that in the Scottish Borders at the time of John Wesley that Freemasonry was taking root. It was growing into a powerful organisation with influence in many spheres of society. It’s no wonder that even Wesley found it hard to break through into their hearts: “‚ÄúUse the most cutting words, and apply them in the most pointed manner, still they hear, but feel no more than the seats they sit upon !”

PETER & JOHN

Peter and John, now filled with Holy Spirit POWER (Power to heal a man crippled from birth),¬†but like the anointed Wesley, they also¬†couldn’t break through into the hard-hearted high priestly family and the leaders in Jerusalem. Even though they’d witnessed a great and obvious miracle… Sometimes, there are people in this world who are so hard-hearted it seems almost impossible to break through into the soft-flesh of their hearts. That’s when ONLY PRAYER and sometimes FASTING will work. Why? Because every conversion of any soul is a work of the Holy Spirit upon that individual. And often before we see a breakthrough, the LORD wants us, those who love and follow Him, to draw even closer to Himself. When we do, we’ll soon discover that it’s not our anointing or gifting or strength, but His divine moving upon the hearts of men. When we do we’ll have our own FAITH IGNITED “Fan into flame the gift of God”…

I’m going to study Timothy, because I see that he needed¬†encouragement¬†from the Apostle Paul to fan into flame the gift of God, I need that too. We all need encouragement my friends, and as I study Paul’s letters to Timothy I hope we will all be set-ablaze with God’s GLORIOUS GIFTS too. Perhaps as we draw close to Jesus this week, we’ll see awesome miracles like Peter and John did on the way to the temple to pray.

Prayer: Dear Heavenly Father, as I draw close to Jesus every day this coming week, I pray that the gift of faith you’ve given me will become a burning fire. I want to serve you with zeal, love, devotion and power. Help me to make use of those things that will ignite my faith; prayer, praise, worship, Bible reading and study, fellowship, witnessing and love… I’m praying that You will be glorified with my life this week. Come afresh into my life in the power and presence of the Holy Spirit. Through Jesus Christ my Lord and Saviour I pray. Amen!

Acts 4:13  When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realised that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus.

2 Timothy 1:6 ¬†For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God…

They took note that Peter and John had been with Jesus, they were just ordinary men, they knew HOW to fan into flame the gift of God. By being with Jesus, so we can do the same things every day.

Haven an awesome week WITH JESUS my friends,

Don.

 

God’s Heart to Heal

Do you believe in the God of miracles?

Daily Spirit & Word: 753:

Can The God You Believe In Do Miracles?

“The smile on your face help me know you need me” (Knowing the Father’s Heart).

Good morning my friends, I want to put a huge wide smile on your face today. But not just on your face, on your heart too. The JOY of the LORD is my strength.

All this week we’ve been hearing about those who are sick and dying; friends, good friends, best friends, relatives: But do we actually believe in a God who cares, has compassion, is kind, gentle and loving? These are all attributes of God’s character, yes God is Holy, get’s angry as we heard yesterday, and can be full of wrath and anger against our sins. However, we also serve a God who fully revealed Himself in Jesus and before that in the Old Testament.

Listen with new ears, watch with renewed eyes to see what God is like today:

God Gives LIFE AGAIN¬†to a Widow’s Son.

1 Kings 17:17-24 (NIV)
17  Some time later the son of the woman who owned the house became ill. He grew worse and worse, and finally stopped breathing.
18 ¬†She said to Elijah, “What do you have against me, man of God? Did you come to remind me of my sin and kill my son?”
19 ¬†“Give me your son,” Elijah replied. He took him from her arms, carried him to the upper room where he was staying, and laid him on his bed.
20 ¬†Then he cried out to the LORD, “O LORD my God, have you brought tragedy also upon this widow I am staying with, by causing her son to die?”
21 ¬†Then he stretched himself out on the boy three times and cried to the LORD, “O LORD my God, let this boy’s life return to him!”
22 ¬†The LORD heard Elijah’s cry, and the boy’s life returned to him, and he lived.
23 ¬†Elijah picked up the child and carried him down from the room into the house. He gave him to his mother and said, “Look, your son is alive!”
24 ¬†Then the woman said to Elijah, “Now I know that you are a man of God and that the word of the LORD from your mouth is the truth.”

Elijah had gone to a widow’s house, initially she thought she and her son would starve to death because of a famine. But Elijah arrived and the flour and oil didn’t run out, it was a miracle of God’s provision. Now the woman’s son, her only son, died. Just listen to her, the way she’s talking to Elijah: “What do you have against me, man of God? Did you come to remind me of my sin and kill my son?”

Often when tragedy strikes, because we’re hurting we strike out at others. Sometimes the ones who are closest to us, those who’ve been kindest to us, THEY are the ones who get blasted first. It’s both Elijah and God that this woman is shaking her fist at. “Man of God”…

But there’s more: The woman obviously had a past:

Like most of us, she’d not lived a completely righteous life, because somewhere in her past she knew she’d sinned. The knowledge of that sin had not left her, and because of her son’s death, she’d obviously been thinking to herself, “Who’s fault is it that my boy has died? Is it my fault? Did I bring this tragedy upon my son because of the things I did wrong in the past?”

We often do that too: I know I do. Whenever things go wrong, I think to myself, “Oh Lord, to what are you drawing my attention? Could it be something I’ve done?” It’s a good question. But to move from self-examination to attacking the man of God… as if God would be wrong somehow to exercise judgement at any time.

  • Perhaps the LORD was using her son’s death to get to the heart of her deepest issue in life.
  • Perhaps her son’s death was the only way the LORD would get this woman’s heart back to Himself.
  • Perhaps the LORD just wanted to show this woman most clearly that He is a God who FORGIVES SINS.

The Boy Comes Back To LIFE:

Just like Jesus who died and rose again from the dead; this boy’s life is restored by the LORD. Jesus was God’s ONE and ONLY Son, who died. The boy was the woman’s one and only son.

Elijah gives the boy back to the woman: Now listen to her response:

¬†1 Kings 17:24 Then the woman said to Elijah, “Now I know that you are a man of God and that the word of the LORD from your mouth is the truth.”

That “NOW I KNOW”: says a lot to me. because even though she’d been experiencing an ongoing miracle of God’s provision i.e. Her flour and oil never ran out: She’s been cooking with it for ages, but deep inside her heart there is an AVENUE OF DOUBT AND UNBELIEF. Those words “NOW I KNOW” shout out to me today.

“Donald, you’ve seen My miracles in the past, so why do you doubt today?”…

Oh LORD! “I have seen your miracles in the past, I know you goodness, kindness, mercy and love, give me a NEW HEART to believe in Your POWER to HEAL today” Amen!

The Oil and Flour Miracles wasn’t enough to move her to repent and trust the LORD completely.

The Resurrection of her son, moved the widow woman to a deeper knowledge and understanding of the LORD.

My friends, the RESURRECTION of God’s ONE and ONLY Son, Jesus Christ, moves me afresh today, to say with the woman, the widow, “NOW I KNOW”….

NOW I KNOW: God can do anything.

  • He can hear our prayer.
  • He can heal our sicknesses, diseases, blindness, deafness, hard-hardheartedness, coldness, stubbornness, sinfulness and rebellion.
  • He can deliver us from DEATH…

BUT: Do YOU Believe He WANTS to do it?

NOW I KNOW: He wants to Heal, Deliver and Forgive… TODAY.

I’m going to be praying much more, much more, for people to experience God’s HEALING touch in their lives. We are going to see miracles my friends.

My friends, doesn’t that put a huge, a massive smile on your face today? Isn’t your HEART warmed and filled with JOY because the LORD is the same, yesterday, today and forever. Amen.

Last night, we had a meeting in church about “Oh Happy Day” West Norwood, London. A festival of JOY. Saturday 16th July (Put the date in your diary and come and see God move).

The Lord gave me this song, it’s a secular song, but it spoke to me of God’s TRUTH: When you say nothing at all:

The smile on your face
Lets me know
That you need me
There’s a truth
In your eyes
Saying you’ll never leave me
The touch of your hand says
You’ll catch me
Whenever I fall
You say it best
When you say
Nothing at all

My friends, God NEEDS you to be His hands, His feet, His heart to go to this hurting world and bring His HEALING: Will you go and touch, speak and heal today?

Some people argue, God can do it, but my friends, He’s chosen a way to do it; through His people. He’s going to do it through YOU! Have faith in the God who wants to Heal today.

Have a fantastic weekend, full of faith, full of trust and full of the JOY of the LORD.

Knowing the FATHER’S HEART.

Don.

 

They ALL Need Jesus

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

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

Doing the IMPOSSIBLE with Jesus.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Have an awesome day,

Don.

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

The KEY to Unlock AWESOME Fellowship

The REAL Lord's Prayer: Forgiveness

Daily Spirit & Word: 746: The KEY to Unlock AWESOME Fellowship.

The closer Christians get to Christ, the closer they get to one another.

Song of Songs 2:15 (NIV)¬†“Catch for us the foxes, the little foxes that ruin the vineyards, our vineyards that are in bloom.”

Good morning my friends, there’s something I hear from time to time in church gatherings, people feel slighted or left-out of things, so they stop coming to church. They forget that our battle is NOT against flesh and blood, but against spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. That ‘flesh and blood’ includes our own flesh and our own blood; our thinking and our feelings.

What needs to be done when we’re feeling left-out?

Get ever closer to Jesus.

I’ve asked countless people who’ve felt miffed by church members, hurt or offended, “How’s your Bible reading going?” “FINE” they’ll say, but it’s the way they answer that I’m listening to, more than what they say. “How close to you feel to Jesus today?” You know what they respond with, “Oh I’ve always loved Jesus”… My friends, let me say this as gently as I can, if you are feeling hurt or offended, then unless you deal with it by taking it to Jesus, you are opening the door of your heart for Satan to come in, when you do that, he will steal from you, kill your passion for fellowship with Jesus and those in His family, and destroy your walk with the LORD.

Song of Songs 2:15 (NIV)¬†“Catch for us the foxes, the little foxes that ruin the vineyards, our vineyards that are in bloom.”

  • You’ll know your are loosing the battle for your soul, if you’re desire for close fellowship with other brothers and sisters in Christ is slipping.
  • You’ll know you are loosing the battle for your soul, if you don’t want to read God’s Word, pray, praise and witness for Jesus.
  • You will feel isolated, hurt, offended, alone.

So what can you do about it?

How can those hurts be healed?

Turn AGAIN to Jesus: Repent of the bitterness you’ve been feeling towards someone.

Satan is a great LIAR, the Bible calls him the father of lies. He’ll want you to be nursing your hurt. He’ll want you to hold onto it for a long time. He knows it will DESTROY you.

He wants you to get upset with your brothers and sisters in Christ. He loves nothing more that a wounded soul festering in their hurt.

What’s needed is FORGIVENESS:

When you get hurt, learn to forgive each other quickly or it will turn to bitter anger and hatred which is MURDER.

  • You can’t forgive someone or a group of people if you are far away from Jesus.
  • You can’t run away from that hurt either, by staying away from church gatherings.
  • You can’t fool God, He knows what’s happening on the inside.
  • Unless you forgive, then neither will your own sins be forgiven.

We’ve been praying the LORD’S PRAYER every day (as part of the lead-up to Pentecost), but as part of that prayer, Jesus taught us to pray about FORGIVENESS, he told us about FORGIVENESS TWICE.

Why did Jesus do that? Because He KNOWS we’re going to be offended and hurt by one another.

LOOK VERY CAREFULLY AT THE LORD’S PRAYER:

It doesn’t finish with “For thine is the Kingdom, the Power and the Glory, forever and forever Amen”

THAT’S NOT IN THE BIBLE

THAT’S NOT THE END OF THE LORD’S PRAYER AT ALL.

Matthew 6:9-15 (NIV)
9 ¬†“This, then, is how you should pray: ” ‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name,
10  your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
11  Give us today our daily bread.
12  Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.
13 ¬†And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.’
14  For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.
15  But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.

The Real LORD’S Prayer is all about forgiveness.

So, let’s pray the LORD’S PRAYER properly, as Jesus taught it. It’s all about forgiveness, letting God’s Kingdom rule and not allowing Satan to get a foothold into our lives by harbouring grudges and not forgiving others.

  • We all want to be forgiven by the LORD.
  • In His Kingdom there isn’t going to be any lingering thoughts of hatred or bitterness any more.
  • Your sins are washed away by Jesus Christ, His blood purifies you from all sin.
  • But that forgiveness can be BLOCKED.

Jesus knew that, that’s why He taught His disciples twice in his prayer about FORGIVENESS.

UNFORGIVENESS OPENS THE DOOR FOR EVIL TO COME INTO YOUR HEART.

“Lead us NOT into temptation” We are tempted NOT to forgive. Especially when we get hurt by someone who’s meant to be following Jesus.

Jesus said it SO CLEARLY: ”

Matthew 6:14-15 “For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.¬†15 ¬†But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.”

When we’re walking around with UNFORGIVENESS in our hearts, we just can’t get close to Jesus.

UNFORGIVENESS is the sin that blocks our access to Him and to our own FORGIVENESS.

You may not think that you’ve got anything to worry about, you are a ‘good’ person, but don’t be deceived my friends. Every one of us SINS every single day, we all need forgiveness, all the time.

If you want to get better fellowship, if you want to feel close to other Christians again, to get closer to your brothers and sisters in Jesus, then you are going to have to face the hurt head-on, take it to Jesus, ask Him to forgive you for holding onto it for too long, then release your friends by forgiving them. You will very quickly discover a NEW JOY comes flooding into your soul. Some people have likened it to their first EXPERIENCE of coming to Jesus. He’ll wash you clean and give you instant fellowship with Himself. He’ll restore your LOVE for each other. He’ll enable you to totally forgive them to such an extent that you’ll want to bless them and see them being blessed by Jesus.

My friends, the LORD’S PRAYER is all about FORGIVENESS.

God’s forgiveness of your sins and your forgiveness of EVERYONE who hurts or offends you in some way.

It IS the LITTLE FOXES that ruin the vine.

When we let little¬†hurts¬†linger, we’re allowing the little foxes to pull the vine to pieces.

Song of Songs 2:15 (NIV)¬†“Catch for us the foxes, the little foxes that ruin the vineyards, our vineyards that are in bloom.”

Those little thoughts that we nurse, we allow them to ruin the VINE. God wants you to be so full of fruit, but the little FOXES will tear it to pieces.

  • Get right with Jesus by FORGIVING others.
  • Get close to Jesus by RELEASING your friends from their debts, trespasses and sins against you.
  • Get close to Jesus and you will get closer in fellowship with the saints in your church fellowship.

FORGIVENESS is the KEY to UNLOCKING AWESOME FELLOWSHIP

But what if it’s YOU that has HURT or OFFENDED someone?

They don’t want you to come and say “Sorry”, because that would release you.

What they NEED is HEALING:

G.K. Chesterson said, “A stiff apology is a second insult … the injured party does not want to be compensated because he has been wronged, he wants to be healed because he has been hurt”

They NEED our LOVE: Not our apology.

LOVE: “Love covers over a multitude of sins”… LOVE heals those wounds and hurts.

“Love one another, as I have loved you.” How did Jesus love us? He died so that we could be forgiven. So my friends, we too must be prepared to DIE every day, in order that LOVE may abound within our fellowships. Die to pride, even if you think you’ve done nothing wrong, go and get right with the offended party quickly. In that way you can stop the little foxes tearing the vine to bits.

Amen!

“We take captive EVERY THOUGHT to make it OBEDIENT to Christ”

Even those thoughts of hurt, anger, bitterness, hatret, wounds, feelings. Then we’ll get close to Jesus and our fellowship will be restored.

Forgiveness really is the KEY to Unlocking AWESOME Fellowship.

Don.

 

2 Corinthians 10:3-5 (NIV)
3  For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does.
4  The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds.
5  We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.

 

The Power of Jesus to Heal

Just ONE Touch from the King changes everything

Daily Spirit & Word: 717: The Power Of Jesus Word.

There is POWER in Jesus to Heal

We’ve been following through Mark’s Gospel and we’re now on Chapter 5. The last teaching was about Jesus Power and Authority over Satan and The Demonic, today we observe Jesus healing and raising a little girl from the dead.

The Two Twelves: The Two 12s…
The Woman who has been bleeding for 12 years.
The Little Girl was 12 years old when she died.

Mark 5:21-43 (NIV)
21 When Jesus had again crossed over by boat to the other side of the lake, a large crowd gathered round him while he was by the lake.
22 Then one of the synagogue rulers, named Jairus, came there. Seeing Jesus, he fell at his feet 23 and pleaded earnestly with him, “My little daughter is dying. Please come and put your hands on her so that she will be healed and live.”
24 So Jesus went with him. A large crowd followed and pressed around him. 25 And a woman was there who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years. 26 She had suffered a great deal under the care of many doctors and had spent all she had, yet instead of getting better she grew worse. 27 When she heard about Jesus, she came up behind him in the crowd and touched his cloak, 28 because she thought, “If I just touch his clothes, I will be healed.” 29 Immediately her bleeding stopped and she felt in her body that she was freed from her suffering.
30 At once Jesus realised that power had gone out from him. He turned around in the crowd and asked, “Who touched my clothes?”
31 “You see the people crowding against you,” his disciples answered, “and yet you can ask, ‘Who touched me?’ “
32 But Jesus kept looking around to see who had done it.
33 Then the woman, knowing what had happened to her, came and fell at his feet and, trembling with fear, told him the whole truth.
34 He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering.”

Jairus Get’s Bad News:
35 While Jesus was still speaking, some men came from the house of Jairus, the synagogue ruler. “Your daughter is dead,” they said. “Why bother the teacher any more?”
36 Ignoring what they said, Jesus told the synagogue ruler, “Don’t be afraid; just believe.”
37 He did not let anyone follow him except Peter, James and John the brother of James.
38 When they came to the home of the synagogue ruler, Jesus saw a commotion, with people crying and wailing loudly.
39 He went in and said to them, “Why all this commotion and wailing? The child is not dead but asleep.”
40 But they laughed at him. After he put them all out, he took the child’s father and mother and the disciples who were with him, and went in where the child was.
41 He took her by the hand and said to her, “Talitha koum!” (which means, “Little girl, I say to you, get up!”).
42 Immediately the girl stood up and walked around (she was twelve years old). At this they were completely astonished.
43 He gave strict orders not to let anyone know about this, and told them to give her something to eat.

12 Years Bleeding: “Just One Touch and I will be healed”.

My friends, that’s real FAITH.

Immediately” Jesus realised POWER had gone out from Him.
That touch of faith brought the POWER of HEAVEN.
My friends, when we approach God with FAITH: The Power of Heaven is OPEN…
FAITH: is believing without doubting. It’s a GIFT from God, so that no one can boast. All faith is a Gift from God.

But remember, our FAITH in what God can and will do will grow the more that we know that we can TRUST Him.
It’s a kind of faith that believes without doubting. Do you have that kind of faith?

Let me illustrate: You already have that kind of faith.

A Chair: How do you know that the SEAT you’re sitting on can hold your weight?

When you came in here today, you didn’t stop to check the chair out, to see if it was wobbly or anything, you just sat right down on it.
If you were a stranger walking into this building today, how would you know you could sit down and the chairs would support your weight?
That’s right, you can see other people sitting down. Lots of them, and they are not falling to the floor with everyone laughing at them.

Also Past Experience of sitting in chairs, they’re pretty dependable aren’t they.

In the same way that you can see others have trusted their chairs and not fallen to the floor, you can also see that in this place, some of the people have put their faith in Jesus Christ. No matter what happens in their lives, they don’t fall down, their faith remains, they keep trusting in Jesus, but why? Why do they keep trusting in Jesus, even when life get tough? It’s because they know Jesus, long years of reaching out and touching the Saviour in faith, have given them the assurance that He’s in complete control and knows what He’s doing.

So if you can see that others have had FAITH in their seats, can you see how impressive it is that others have that same kind of FAITH in Jesus. They have sat in those seats many times, so when they walk in to church they don’t even think about it.

My friends, this Woman who’d been bleeding for 12 Long Years: Must have heard about Jesus’ Miracles and as He passed by in the Crowd that day, she thought to herself, as the Scriptures tell us, “If I just touch the hem of His garments, I will be healed”…

What amazing reasoning: “If this Jesus can heal people of all kinds of diseases and deliver them from Demons, then a little issue of bleeding for 12 years will be nothing for this Miracle worker, all I need to do is reach out and touch Him”.

More about that reaching out to Jesus in a minute, but look what happened next;

NEXT: Jesus Brings LIFE back into a 12 year old dead girl.

The Girls Father: first a word about Jairus.
What encouragement Jesus gave Jairus.
He was a Synagogue Ruler… The Synagogue was a place of worship for Jews. Jairus was a very important man in society.
Mark 5:22-23 “Seeing Jesus, he fell at his feet 23 and pleaded earnestly with him, “My little daughter is dying. Please come and put your hands on her so that she will be healed and live.””

“Jairus FELL AT HIS FEET”: Here was a Ruler falling at Jesus feet and begging Him… My friends, if you want Jesus to do something for you, something you are desperate for the King of Kings to do for you, have you gotten to the point of falling to your knees and pleading with Jesus? Sometimes, we don’t get answers to our prayers UNTIL we’ve gotten to our knees in prayer before God.
It’s not the act of kneeling, it the act of recognition of who Jesus is. Jairus knew only that Jesus was a Miracle worker and teacher. We know that Jesus was God on Earth, that He died because of His love for us, so that we could be forgiven and cleansed of all sin. When we kneel before Jesus today, we’re kneeling before God.

KNEELING: can be just a habit: many people kneel in prayer because that’s what they’ve been taught to do.

But there’s another kind of KNEELING: It’s A Humbling yourself before God. It’s recognising that you don’t deserve anything from Him and yet still coming to Him. Pleading for His grace, mercy, kindness… He loves our FAITH… He loves our TRUST… What’s stopping us KNEELING before Jesus?

PEOPLE KNEEL BEFORE THE QUEEN:
When the New Years Honours come around, people kneel before the Queen to be Knighted. They bow the knee in recognition of her Majesty and Authority. She wears a Crown to symbolise her Majestic Authority over her subjects. When she knights someone she says, “Arise Sir Knight”…
Jesus is the KING of Kings and Queens.
Our Queen has famously said, “I bow the knee to only one other KING and that’s KING Jesus Christ”… The Queen bows to Jesus. Jairus, the Ruler of the Synagogue was in good company… But have we actually BOWED before Jesus?

JUST ONE TOUCH OF THE KING:

The Queen Touches with her sword and says “Arise”… But the KING, our LORD Jesus touches and we cannot help but rise to new heights.

Imagine what frustration Jairus must have felt, when his little girl was at home dying, Jesus stopping along the way to ask, “Who touched Me?”… He would have been thinking to himself, “Oh please Master, come as quick as you can or it will be too late”…
What did Jairus ask Jesus to do for him? “PUT YOUR HANDS ON HER”
Jairus knew there was POWER in the touch of Jesus The Miracle Maker. “Put your hand on her so that she will be healed and live”
Just ONE TOUCH of the KING… Changes everything… (I love that song, because it speaks of a TRUTH about my King Jesus).

  • If it’s us reaching out to Jesus in FAITH: Like the Woman bleeding for 12 years. Changed her life forever. POWER of Heaven Opens: By Faith.
    If it’s up Jesus reaching out to us in His MERCY: Like the little girl’s father, Changed her life forever and her family’s life forever. POWER of Heaven Opens: By Faith.

Just ONE TOUCH of the KING: Changes EVERYTHING.

BUT THEY LAUGHED AT HIM:

Notice the CROWD that didn’t believe.

  • Like they laughed at Noah, when He built the ARK of God.
  • Like Sara laughed when the LORD said she would have a baby when she was nearly 100 years old.

My friends, if someone came to you and said, “I’m building an Ark because God is sending a flood to destroy the Earth” you’d probably laugh too.
If someone came to your funeral and said, “Put the boy down, I’m going to bring him back to life” You’d probably laugh too.
If someone came into a hospital today, when the doctors has said, “He’s DEAD” and he said, “He Going to LIVE” those Doctors would probably laugh too.
The CROWD Laughed at Jesus. It’s a laugh of incredulity. It’s a laugh of unbelief. They reason, “We know she’s dead”…

What did Jesus do when they laughed at Him?

That’s right, He put them out of the room. (Mark 5:40).

My friends, it’s a DANGEROUS thing to Laugh at God.
Laughing is Doubting when there’s EVIDENCE that it’s possible.
That kind of laughter is an insult to God.
Jesus put them out of the room.

  • God put Adam and Eve out of the Garden of Eden, when they doubted God and believed the Devil.
  • God put Abraham’s wife Sara out for a while, when she laughed, when told in her old age she’d have a baby.
  • God put Zechariah, John the Baptist’s Dad out for a while when he laughed, when in their old age he and Sarah would have a baby; He was struck dumb until he wrote what the Angel told him, “His name shall be John”.

Unbelief (Stubborn Doubt) means exclusion from the things of God.
“He put them all out”… For laughing. For their unbelief.
My friends, if you are LAUGHING at the possibilities of what God can do today, be aware that it’s going to be very costly indeed. You might just miss the best Miracles you’ll ever witness in your life; only the parents and Jesus’ disciples; Peter, James and John,¬†observed Jesus touching the little girl and her coming back to life.

Remember what Jesus said to Thomas: “Stop DOUBTING and BELIEVE”…. “It’s ME”….
Jesus response to Thomas’ faith once he’d seen Him: John 20:29 (NIV) “Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.””

Jairus trusted Jesus, instead of laughing, Jairus was full of hope and expectation and faith, he was with Jesus and His disciples in the room when Jesus touched the little girl and LIFE came back into her dead body. That touch of Jesus would change Jairus’ life forever.

After giving the girl back her life Jesus said, “Give her something to eat”…

He didn’t just give back her life, Jesus took care of her hunger too. That’s how much Jesus cares for that little girl my friends.

Do you know, that’s how much Jesus cares for you too. When you get the NEW LIFE Jesus wants to feed you with Manna from Heaven, The Word of God.

Conclusion:

  • With Just a WORD the 12 year old girl received life.
    With Just a WORD from God, the Universe was formed.
    With Just a WORD from Jesus, Demons flew out of a man.
    With Just a WORD from Jesus, The Storm was stilled.
    With Just a WORD from Jesus, The Crippled man’s hand was restored.
    With Just a WORD from God: Mankind came into this world.
    With Jesus WORD Lazarus came out of the grave.

There is POWER in the WORD of God.

  • With Just a TOUCH: Moses parted the Red Sea.
    With Just a TOUCH: Water poured from a Rock.
    With Just a TOUCH: Jesus opened a Blind Man’s Eyes.
    With Just a TOUCH: Jesus opened a DEAF Man’s Ears.

There is POWER in the TOUCH of the SAVIOUR.

My friends, Do you believe? Do you have faith? Do you TRUST Jesus can do all that He promised He can do?
He will come into your life: If you turn in faith and trust in His death upon the Cross for your sins. When you repent and put your FAITH in Him, He’ll do it. Do you believe that Jesus will come into your life? To give you NEW LIFE… Once you get NEW LIFE, you’ll also get a NEW HUNGER (New Desires) for the WORD of God. NEW DESIRES to live God’s way: His righteous life.

Just like you’ve seen others sitting in these chairs and believe they can hold your weight. You have FAITH in your seat.
So you can believe that Jesus will DO ALL He’s Promised: He’ll come into your LIFE today; Give you NEW LIFE, NEW HUNGER, NEW JOY… He may also give you FAITH to believe that He can do anything…

He’ll not only give you NEW LIFE, but a NEW HUNGER too.
How’s your hunger for God’s Word? It’s an indication of your place in God’s Family.
“Like babes in Christ, crave the pure milk of the word of God”…

DILLY & DALLY:
DELAY: When I was 12 Years Old. My mother ran a bath for me. She shouted out to me, “Donald, your bath is ready, the water is warm, come and get your bath before the water gets cold”… I dillied and dallied and by the time I got into that bath, the water was cold.
DON’T Dilly and Don’t Dally, the WATER of FAITH is warm today. Jump in and take the plunge and trust in Jesus.
DON’T Be Like the CROWD who LAUGHED: Jesus coming into your life right now might seem impossible, more than you can possibly dream, but Jesus is real, His promise is real, He’ll come if you just; Believe, Turn from Sin, Accept His Sacrifice of Himself upon the Cross for your sins and Receive Him by Faith… YES! You can do it today!…

What if you’ve done that already? You’ve TRUSTED Jesus.
Have you seen the new James Bond Movie? “Spectre”… James Bond is a Special Secret Agent Number 007.. He’s been selected and trained to infiltrate the enemy, wherever the enemy may be found. My friends, God has chosen you to be His Agents (Ambassadors) in this world. You are like His secret special agents; your number is 777… ūüôā

You might still be laughing like the CROWD: What about the Plans God has for you? Have you laughed inside yourself, thinking I couldn’t do that, I don’t have the strength, the power or the personality… What’s God been calling you to do for Him, but you’ve laughed or doubted? Sara (Abraham’s wife got the shock of her life when she listened in on the conversation) an old lady having a baby; impossible. My friends, God might be calling you to do something for Him that at this moment in time might seem beyond your capacity, your ability, your power, but believe Him, recognise His POWER to do all things, even with you. He’s done it before and He can do it again through your life. Is Jesus calling you to use your GIFTS in His Service, in the Service of the Kingdom? Remember the weaklings in the Bible that God chose for great things; Moses, Gideon, Jeremiah, they all thought they were not upto the task or calling, but God transformed them all.

So my friends, I’m going to ASK YOU: Will you TRUST Jesus Christ: The POWER of His Word, The POWER of His Touch?
Believe me and everyone else here today, who’ll tell you, “It’s TRUE: Jesus Christ has done it for me and He’ll do it for you too”.
Take the plunge, jump in whilst the water is warm and the time is right.
Reach out in Faith and FEEL the POWER of God coming into your life again today.

Don.

NOTE: When delivering this sermon at an All Age Service yesterday, I split it into two: The Woman with the Issue and then the 12 Year old dead girl.

I used another illustration to show the little bit of faith we might have and it’s power.
A glass of water held over someone’s head, up-side-down… The water didn’t come out because a flimsy piece of paper stopped it. The paper is thin, sometimes our faith appears weak, but it has a might force behind it.
When we use our faith, exercise the little faith that we have, Heaven’s Power is Available. Amen!

He is my EVERYTHING, He is my ALL.

Jesus makes your life complete

Daily Spirit & Word: 682: Jesus IS Your EVERYTHING.

Jesus really IS ALL you need.

Good morning my friends, today we’re back with Revelation 1:8 where we discover just how much Jesus knows about everything. Last night we celebrated Ash Wednesday in Fellowship. Did you know that Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of Lent? Lent is a time when we think about Jesus temptation in the Wilderness for 40 Days and 40 Nights. During that time Jesus didn’t eat or drink and it was after being without food for such a long time that Satan (The Devil) came to TEMPT Jesus.

Note: Jesus was put to temptation when He was at his weakest. But revealed a secret strength that is available to you and me today.

Today, in Revelation, we’re going to see how Jesus is EVERYTHING we need in the face of temptation, moments of weakness, times when we’re feeling we just can’t go on: He’s the ONE who’s able to carry us through. Why? Because Jesus is the I AM for your everything.

Revelation 1:8 (NIV) “I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty.”

John is giving us the REVELATION as he received it from the LORD Jesus. Jesus is the one speaking. He is GOD ALMIGHTY.

Alpha: Is the first letter of the Greek alphabet. Omega: is the last letter. So Jesus is telling us He’s the first and the last and everything else¬†in-between. He’s the A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, I, J …. Everything.

He also tells us: I AM (Which is the Bible name for the all knowing, all powerful, all sufficient, God).

  • He’s the “I AM” who IS: He exists in your present.
  • He’s the “I AM” Who “WAS”: i.e. He always existed in the past. He was before time began. He created time.
  • He’s the “I AM” Who “Is to Come”: i.e. He will always be around for all eternity. He’s never going away. He will exist when the Creation ceases to exist. He’s coming back to Earth to Judge all mankind.

When Jesus said, “I AM the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty.”

He’s showing you that He is the “I AM” for whatever your need is in life.

  • For instance if you’re sick, you’ll hear Jesus say, “I am your Divine Healer.”
  • If you’re in a storm in life, you’ll hear Jesus say “I AM your life-boat”.
  • If you don’t know your way, can’t make a decision, Jesus will be revealing, “I AM the WAY”.
  • If you’re sick and dying, Jesus will comfort you with, “I AM the resurrection and the life.”
  • If you’re in the dark, afraid and can’t see, Jesus is your light, for He promises, “I AM the Light of the world, whoever follows me will never walk in darkness”.
  • If you are feeling weary or burdened by life’s pressures, Jesus is shouting in a tender tone to you today, “Come to me, I AM going to give you a burden that is light, my yoke is so easy, come to Me”
  • If you are feeling like no one else cares about you, Jesus is saying, “I AM your Good¬†Shepherd, I look after my sheep, I know each one by name and I’ll lead you to pastures new.”
  • If you are feeling happy, Jesus is your brother who’ll share in your joy. There’s NO jealously in God. He rejoices with you and doesn’t envy your happiest moments in life.

My friends, in Jesus, in Revelation, Jesus is the ALL KNOWING: “I AM”. He is everything that you can ever imagine that you’ll need in life.

  • He’s the ONE: Who washes you clean from sin. He does that with His own life-blood. He died so that you could be purified.
  • He’s the ONE: Who give you Eternal LIFE: The moment you turn in Repentance and seek His forgiveness and receive Him as your LORD and Saviour, at that moment ETERNAL LIFE is your inheritance. Awesome!
  • He’s the ONE: Who’ll give you abundant, overflowing LIFE: As you walk each day with Jesus, no matter what the world throws at you, as it did Him in the wilderness, you’ll be full of Holy Spirit and JOY of the Lord Jesus.

So this Lent, to be afraid to try and give up something you like, you’ll discover that Jesus can more than replace and resource you in ways you can’t even imagine, because HE is your EVERYTHING: ¬†He is your ALL.

He knows more than any Professor on Earth: He Created the Universe and everything in it.

TRUST Jesus Christ afresh today. He always was, always will be and always is.

Jesus is the Lord God Almighty: He’s with you. He’s in you.

  • So don’t be afraid.
  • So don’t worry.
  • So don’t give up or give in.

Oh How I LOVE Jesus.
Oh How I LOVE Jesus.
Oh How I LOVE Jesus.
Because He first LOVED me.

Amen!

Don.

The Wonderful Jesus

Jesus is God, He has Authority to forgive sins

Daily Spirit & Word, 634: The Wonderful Jesus

The Wonderful Friends, The Wonder-Filled Crowd & The Wonderful Words of Jesus.

Jesus Has The Power & Authority to Forgive Sin.

SHOCKING NEWS: I was filled with a deep sickening-feeling when I watched the news that so many people had been killed by those murderous terrorists in Paris. We’re with the French Nation! Grieving with you over your loss of so many young loved ones. It’s a scar that will be painful and will hurt for a long time to come. I couldn’t call them soldiers or that this is a war, because that would elevate them to an army. They are pure merchants of an evil that’s running rampant over the face of the earth. Praying for PEACE and in God’s timing that the good people of France will be enabled to FORGIVE. For when we forgive, then we are set-free. O LORD, please bring the comfort that You alone can give in the face of death. Amen!

Good morning my friends, today we’re back with Mark’s Gospel and chapter 2. The familiar story, recounted in many a Sunday School Class, the famous account of the four friends who brought their friend to Jesus to be healed, but couldn’t get in at the door so the climbed-up, made a hole in the roof and lowered their friends to the feet of Jesus Christ.

 

Mark 2:1-12. The Paralysed Man: Forgiven and Healed. Four Wonderful Friends.
1 A few days later, when Jesus again entered Capernaum, the people heard that he had come home.
2  So many gathered that there was no room left, not even outside the door, and he preached the word to them.
3  Some men came, bringing to him a paralytic, carried by four of them.
4  Since they could not get him to Jesus because of the crowd, they made an opening in the roof above Jesus and, after digging through it, lowered the mat the paralysed man was lying on.
5 ¬†When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, “Son, your sins are forgiven.”
6  Now some teachers of the law were sitting there, thinking to themselves,
7 ¬†“Why does this fellow talk like that? He’s blaspheming! Who can forgive sins but God alone?”
8 ¬†Immediately Jesus knew in his spirit that this was what they were thinking in their hearts, and he said to them, “Why are you thinking these things?
9 ¬†Which is easier: to say to the paralytic, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up, take your mat and walk’?
10 ¬†But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins . . . .” He said to the paralytic,
11 ¬†“I tell you, get up, take your mat and go home.”
12 ¬†He got up, took his mat and walked out in full view of them all. This amazed everyone and they praised God, saying, “We have never seen anything like this!”

There are so many wonderful lessons and sermons I’ve personally heard about this account. I’ve preached upon it many times myself, but today I was struck afresh by these four men and Jesus response and the crowds of people in the house that day.

The Three Things That Strike Me Today:

1) The Wonderful Friends.

What amazing friends this paralysed man had.

4  Since they could not get him to Jesus because of the crowd, they made an opening in the roof above Jesus and, after digging through it, lowered the mat the paralysed man was lying on.

Some people imagine that when someone is paralysed that they will be that way for the rest of their days.

Imagine, if that¬†man’s friends had thought like that? He may have wanted to be cured, but if they’d argued, “It’s no use mate, you’re paralysed, just get used to it, there’s no hope for you”. (British Home: Used to be called, “The British Home For The Incurables” I first saw that sign and I wept inside. I first visited the Home before I was the Minister here, and my heart sank “Have I got to come to this place and preach to these people who have no hope of ever being cured?”

Those Wonderful Friends didn’t think like that; they had FAITH that Jesus could heal their friend.

My friends, I do have a hope, I do believe with all my heart that Jesus can and does do miracles today. I’ve seen miracles of healing and I believe, like those four wonderful friends obviously did, that their friend is worth bringing to Jesus Christ. Jesus came into this world to SAVE everyone. Not everyone will be SAVED but that’s what Jesus wants, be certain of that my friends.

How were they Wonderful Friends?

They Cared: They didn’t give up when they couldn’t get in through the door.

Some of us give up too easily on those we’re trying to bring to Jesus Christ, but not these friends.

You may have been trying for years to get a loved on SAVED, but they refuse to come to Jesus. Be like those friends, who were not put-off by the crowds at the door.

They Were Creative: They used their heads, “what other way can we get him into see Jesus?”

Some of us, when we’re met with an obstacle, just give-up, just put-off by the obstacles, but instead they got creative.

It might take an unusual approach to save your friends and relatives. It might mean you’ll have to think of another way. A different or novel way.

The must have said amongst themselves that day, “We can’t get in through the door, but look, there’s a roof and we can easily break through the roof and get him into see Jesus”… That’s creative. Not only did they care, they were not going to be put-off and they got very creative.

They Were Commended: Not only did they care and get creative, but they were commended by Jesus for their faith.

Verse 5 ¬†“When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, “Son, your sins are forgiven.””

It wasn’t the paralytic’s faith that was commended that day, it was the faith of the friends who struggled to bring him to the feet of Jesus Christ.

Will you be commended by Jesus because of your FAITH?

The faith they demonstrated was obvious; their faith had legs, they didn’t let obstacles get in the way, they tried their hardest all all costs to bring their friend to Jesus. They BELIEVED that Jesus would and could HEAL their friend. ¬†What wonderful faith, what wonderful friends. O my friends, if only we had a church full of people who were longing to bring their friends to faith and trust in Jesus Christ. If only we’d bring our loved ones to Jesus. If our Church was not put-off by obstacles, think how full our church could be.

They may be paralysed:

  • They may not be able to come themselves to Jesus: You Bring Them.
  • They may not want to come to Jesus: You Bring Them whatever way you can. Carry Them.
  • They are paralysed by sin, powerless to save themselves. You show them they can be SAVED by Jesus.
  • They’re not looking to come to Jesus: They are BLIND and cannot see their NEED of Jesus or Church: we must open their blinded eyed and bring them to Jesus.

“When Jesus saw their faith”: The man’s sins got forgiven.

Imagine: You’ve struggled to bring your paralysed friend to Jesus. You’ve heard that He’s a healer and all He does is say, “Son, your sins are forgiven you”… What? I mean, “We’ve just dug through a roof, we’ve not been put off by the crowd, we’ve lowered our friend on ropes to your feet and all you do is forgive him his sins?”¬†But Jesus is NOT finished yet.

THEY Cooperated TOGETHER:

One last thing about the Wonderful Friends: The worked together to bring their friend to Jesus.

That tells me afresh today; “Donald, don’t try and do it all alone. Work together to bring people to Jesus.” It’s a TEAM effort. We’ve got to be working together. There’s always something you can be doing: If you can’t be an Evangelist, you can be a prayer. You can be a meal-giver, you can be a host, you can be a helper, you can be a giver, you can be SOMETHING as part of the TEAM Here are St LUKE’S Church to bring people to Jesus. Only four of the group were carrying the man, there were more than four of them. All those people, bringing their friend to Jesus. Think: When we’re joined together in UNITY there the LORD commands His blessing.

 

2) The Wonder-Filled Crowd.

The Wonder-Filled Crowd: They were all crammed into that house to hear Jesus teaching. So many that the sick couldn’t get in. They were filled with wonder, but they’d become a stumbling-block; blocking access to Jesus that day.

The Church Today is FILLED with the WONDERERS: They love wondering at the words of Jesus, they love sermons, they love healings, they love miracles, they love the spectacle of power ministries, but just like the Wonder-Filled Crowd back then, they become a blockage to people coming to Jesus today. They don’t care: Even if they do care, the don’t show their faith, by doing something about it.

How do we know they were a blockage? It’s revealed when Jesus said those amazing words; “Son, your sins are forgiven you”.

That Wonder-Filled Crowd knew that ONLY God can forgive sins.

Mark 2:6-9
6  Now some teachers of the law were sitting there, thinking to themselves,
7 ¬†“Why does this fellow talk like that? He’s blaspheming! Who can forgive sins but God alone?”
8 ¬†Immediately Jesus knew in his spirit that this was what they were thinking in their hearts, and he said to them, “Why are you thinking these things?
9 ¬†Which is easier: to say to the paralytic, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up, take your mat and walk’?¬†

They were right too, these TEACHERS of God’s Law: ONLY God can forgive sins.

My friends, if ever there was a passage in the Bible that shouts-out about the Divinity of Jesus, that Jesus is God, it’s this one (there are many, many more) but they KNEW that Jesus was claiming to be God by saying, “Son, your sins are forgiven you”, because ONLY God can forgive sins.

But instead of praising Jesus Christ as God, they began to accuse Him of Blasphemy in their hearts. Many times these Jewish Teachers of the Law wanted to stone Jesus to death for His blasphemous words. They were there, crowded into the house, listening to the wonderful teaching of Jesus, but they were not all there to praise Jesus. Some of them were there only to be critical and cynical. Not everyone in that house that day was filled with a desire to be a follower of Jesus.

Now, listen afresh to the wonderful words of Jesus;

3) The Wonderful Words of Jesus.

Mark 2:8-12.
8 ¬†Immediately Jesus knew in his spirit that this was what they were thinking in their hearts, and he said to them, “Why are you thinking these things?
9 ¬†Which is easier: to say to the paralytic, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up, take your mat and walk’?
10 ¬†But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins . . . .” He said to the paralytic,
11 ¬†“I tell you, get up, take your mat and go home.”
12 ¬†He got up, took his mat and walked out in full view of them all. This amazed everyone and they praised God, saying, “We have never seen anything like this!”
Before they could utter their thoughts out loud, Jesus took the initiative, by REVEALING THEIR THINKING.

Not only is it ONLY GOD that can forgive sins; but ONLY GOD knows what a man is THINKING.

That alone should have convinced them that this man Jesus before them was God on Earth.

No ONE on Earth or in Heaven can read your thoughts, but God ALONE (Jesus is God).

No ONE on Earth today can say to a Paralysed man, get up and walk and he’s healed and walks. Only God can do that kind of miracle. This again, the third thing that day, proved that Jesus was God.

 

MARK 2:10 To PROVE THAT Jesus, “The Son of Man” (Messiah Title) Has the Authority to FORGIVE SIN: He performs this miracle.

Mark 2:10-12:
10 ¬†But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins . . . .” He said to the paralytic,
11 ¬†“I tell you, get up, take your mat and go home.”
12 ¬†He got up, took his mat and walked out in full view of them all. This amazed everyone and they praised God, saying, “We have never seen anything like this!”

These Wonderful Words of Jesus, to Prove He was God on the Earth, “I tell you, get up, take your mat and go home”… He did and they were all amazed. He did it in full view of them all. The Miracles was to prove to the doubters that day and today that Jesus is God. He has the authority to forgive sins, only God can do that.

Conclusion:

We’ve seen today;

The Wonderful Friends: Who are full of faith, undaunted by obstacles, creative in bringing their friend to Jesus and caring enough to consider that not even a paralytic is beyond the reach of Jesus power.

The Wonder-Filled Crowd: They’d become a blockage to people coming to Jesus. Not everyone was there for right reasons. Be certain that you are not coming to Church just to wowed and to wonder, but to work for Jesus too.

The Wonderful Words of Jesus: “Your Sins are forgiven, Your thinking this, Take up your mat”

Forgiven and Healed: Forgiven and Commanded; Forgiven and Commissioned.

Thoughts: Are you being a Wonderful Friend to someone today? Is there someone you can bring to Christ? Don’t be put-off,¬†deterred, disheartened,¬†disillusioned, by a blockage. They may not be willing to come to Jesus yet: don’t ever give-up on them, what may seem impossible now: Is POSSIBLE (All things, all people, everyone; can come to Jesus). There’s no one beyond the help and hope of Jesus POWER to reach them. Like the¬†Paralytics¬†Wonderful Friends: Be creative, Have faith, Keep going when everyone else gives up.

 

BE AMAZED: Like the Wonder-Filled CROWD: Let these words of Jesus fill you with wonder every day. Let Him come to you afresh. Let Him dazzle you with amazement. Only Jesus knows what they were thinking, ONLY GOD Can Do That: Jesus is God.

 

The Wonderful Words of Jesus: He’s saying to you today “Your sins are forgiven, now get up and go for Me into this world and proclaim the Good News”…. That’s the Wonderful Good News Gospel of Jesus. You’ve got it my friends, now go and give it away; Be part of the Wonder-Filled Crowd who were there to listen to every word of Jesus, Be like those Wonderful Friends and let the Wonderful Words of Jesus impact your HEART today. Amen!

I hope you all have a WONDERFUL Sunday full of JOY in the LORD Jesus Christ.

Don.

 

Jesus Comfort In The Face of Death.

The Revelation of Jesus comes to those who are obedient to His Commands

Daily Spirit & Word, 631:

“Peace I leave with you, my peace I give you.”

God’s Comfort In The FACE of DEATH.

Good morning my friends, I know the title sounds bleak, but bear with me because there’s great encouragement and comfort today; God WANTS to REVEAL Himself to you today.

When Jesus was nearing the end of His earthly mission and He knew what was about to happen to Him, His thoughts were not for Himself, He was thinking about how His disciples would feel once He’d gone back to Heaven. He was thinking about them all because He loved them and knew that they all loved Him too. When someone we LOVE departs this Earth, it hurts. No matter how prepared you are for that event, deep down it tears something from your soul when a loved on leaves.

I’ll never forget my own mother’s death: We knew a week before she died that she’d only have one week left in this world. The Doctors had to stop her Dialysis Treatment: She was in the Renal Ward and the treatment wasn’t working. She was also riddled with Cancer. I had to break the news to my mum along with my dad that she only had a week to live. Although everyone knew she was coming to the end of her life, when she eventually died it was as if something was ripped from my own soul and a sick, empty feeling continued for many hours in my¬†stomach.

When Jesus knew what was about to happen, He felt for His own disciples too. So with these words our Lord began to comfort them: Imagine getting this kind of assurance at the impending death of a loved one.

John 14:15-27 God’s Comfort In The Face of Death.
15¬†“If you love me, you will obey what I command.
16 ¬†And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counsellor to be with you for ever‚ÄĒ
17  the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you.
18  I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.
19  Before long, the world will not see me any more, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live.
20  On that day you will realise that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you.
21 ¬†Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me. He who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love him and show myself to him.”
22 ¬†Then Judas (not Judas Iscariot) said, “But, Lord, why do you intend to show yourself to us and not to the world?”
23 ¬†Jesus replied, “If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him.
24  He who does not love me will not obey my teaching. These words you hear are not my own; they belong to the Father who sent me.
25 ¬†“All this I have spoken while still with you.
26  But the Counsellor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.
27  Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.

This whole passage is bound up in LOVE:

  • The LOVE: That God has for His Son, the Son (Jesus) for the Father (God).
  • The LOVE: That God has for those He’s brought to His Son Jesus.
  • The LOVE: That God the Son has for those He’s been teaching and training for over three years.
  • The LOVE: That those who’ve been following Jesus have for Him and for God and for each other.

It’s ALL ABOUT LOVE: And love hurts.

Verse 18: “I will not leave you as orphans”… An Orphan is one who’s bereft of parents. He’s hurting because he’s alone in this world. But Jesus is promising that they’ll get another counsellor and¬†guide: God the Holy Spirit. God the Son is going to be replaced by God the Holy Spirit. It’s going to be different though; instead of God walking with them, talking with them, eating with them, He’s going to be INSIDE them. They’ll know God from now on in a very different way.

There is a condition attached to this REVELATION that’s about to happen.

“If anyone loves me and obeys my teaching”

The internal revelation and presence of God the Holy Spirit will only happen to those who are OBEDIENTLY seeking God.

God will never and can never show Himself to those who don’t want to know Him: those who are DISOBEDIENT.

NOTE: That¬†doesn’t¬†mean we need to be sinless or perfect to get a revelation of God. It just means we’ve come to God in weakness, repentance and faith, trusting in His Divine goodness and forgiveness through Jesus the Son, with a desire to be obedient to all He’s commanded: then we’ll get the revelation, presence and love of God: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

But what awesome PROMISES: God on the inside.

“My Father will love him” Awesome.

“He will be loved by My Father, I too will love him and will SHOW MYSELF to him”. WOWzer! Jesus is going to SHOW (Reveal) Himself to you.

Have you had that personal REVELATION yet?

It comes to EVERYONE who’s born of God’s Spirit.

When you are BORN AGAIN you KNOW Jesus, because He SHOWS Himself to you.

All this shows us how DEEP the Father’s LOVE for us is; and How interconnected God is: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

Have an awesome day with the RESURRECTED Lord Jesus Christ.

Be filled afresh with God the Holy Spirit NOW!

Be assured that you belong to Father God Almighty and He LOVES you. Amen!

Don.

 

Evangelism, Miracles or Both?

Should we preach or perform miracles or both?

Daily Spirit & Word, 620:

Miracles or Evangelism or Both?

Good morning my friends, it’s fantastic when the LORD is speaking to you loud and clear. Yesterday we had a visit from the Gideons in church, it was good for me to listen to another man bringing God’s Word and to be fed in a different way. It was also great that the man speaking was an obvious convert to the Lord Jesus Christ. He loved the Lord and the Lord spoke through Him.

His message was about Cracked Pots: Shining the Light of the Lord. He recounted the story of Gideon’s Battle. His message was that God’s light can only sine out of the cracked pots. I was tempted to make a joke at the end of his sermon: “Let’s all be Crack Pots for Jesus”… It may have raised a smile, but it would have detracted from His brilliant message.

Before the service began I welcomed him and we chatted. He was telling me about his son’s church in Clapham, it’s a new Vineyard Church plant, they are good, Holy Spirit filled people. That church has been out on the streets of Clapham sharing Jesus and healing people. There was one slight difference in what they called their team from our team: They are called the ‘Healing On The Streets Team’, we call ours ‘The Evangelism Team’. But I’m thinking of changing it now!

What team would you be more inclined to join? The Healing On The Streets or The Evangelism Team?

It’s a no-brainer for me, but I know there’s one word that makes the vast majority of the Church quake in their boots and run for cover; it is the word EVANGELISM. Why?

Well my friends, it’s because even just thinking about going out to share Jesus with folks is scary, it’s daunting, and it’s confrontational. (of course it’s not, but that’s what people automatically believe and imagine, because they’ve swallowed the lies of Satan about Evangelism). Whilst on the other hand ‘Healing On The Streets’ sounds much more appealing, less confrontational, more powerful and has much longer lasting and more profound effects. (Of course it doesn’t, but we’re much more comfortable with the ‘miraculous’ than we are with the ordinary).

Adrian Rogers has said; “Miracles normally came in clusters in the Bible. There were miracles, obviously, in the Creation, miracles around the ministries of Moses, Elijah, and Elisha, miracles with Jesus and the apostles, and there will be end-time miracles. I do not know anybody today who has the gift of miracles, but I would certainly not deny God’s ability in that area. He’s proven it too well.¬†However, I would rather have it said of me that many believed on Jesus through my word than that I had the power to do miracles‚ÄĒbecause that is the lasting miracle, the new birth, the greatest miracle of all.” {What Every Christian Ought to Know Day by Day: Essential Truths for Growing Your Faith.}

How About BOTH: Miracles & Conversions:

I’ve been thinking about this my friends, since yesterday ūüėé ¬†and ever since I’ve been saved. ūüėõ ¬† Jesus commanded us to go and proclaim the Good News. He equipped us to do it by giving us the Holy Spirit and Spiritual Gifts. However, it’s also true that He wants us to perform miracles as well as proclaim the Gospel. In Mark’s Gospel the Great Commission is slightly different from Matthew’s.

  • Matthew’s Commission concentrates on “The Making of Disciples”
  • Mark’s Commission concentrates on those going out: “The Ability to Preach and Perform”.

Which is right? Since they are both from God’s Word: They are both right my friends, we are to Make Disciples and we are to Perform Miracles. That becomes obvious as we read the rest of the New Testament and discover how the first followers of Jesus lived out His Great Commission. They went out to preach the Gospel and signs and wonders accompanied the Gospel proclamation.

Therefore perhaps I’ll change the name of our outreach team to: “The Healing & Converting Team” or “The Miracle and Evangelism Team”… Whatever!

As I talked with the man about his son’s church in Clapham and listened to what he said, “They also proclaim the Gospel and pray for Healing”. I said, “We do the same, we pray for some people and we proclaim the Gospel too, some people get touched by the Lord”…

It Is Both; Gospel Proclamation & Signs and Wonders.

However, it is also what we are about:

  • Do you just want to see miracles?
  • Do you just want to see people come to Christ?

We should always want both with all our hearts; seeing people healed is AWESOME. We’ve had the privilege of seeing that as we went out to proclaim the Good News and lead people to Jesus. Seeing people come to faith and delivered from darkness, from bondage to sin and on their way to hell, that’s AWESOME too.

What does God want?

That’s the bottom-line question: What does the LORD desire? He wants ALL: He wants people everywhere to REPENT and TRUST in His Son Jesus for Salvation. That’s God’s PRIMARY (Highest agenda). He sent Jesus into this world to rescue men from Hell. He died in order to fulfil His mission. Yes he performed a few (many) miracles along the way, but His primary purpose was to SAVE. He’ll use both, miracles and proclamation of the Gospel to accomplish it. But we should never be tempted to think one is better than the other, they were always meant to accompany one another anyway.

We, both teams, the Healing Team and the Evangelism Team, were actually doing the SAME things anyway. However, what should our primary focus is to be? It’s my belief that our total commitment to Jesus should include; being obedient to His Commands and Serving the Lord with gladness. We’ll all use our gifts and skills to fulfill His Great Commission. Unlike Adrian Rogers who only wanted to be remembered for his proclamation of the Word in effectively leading souls to Jesus, I want that too, but I also want people to experience the miraculous. I’ve seen how one miracle can lead a whole family to the Lord.

It’s my experience that people come to the Lord in so many different ways; sometimes it is through a healing miracle, but other times it’s just a word that impacts their soul and heart. There is a TRUTH in the modern worship song “Just ONE touch of the KING, changes everything”… Just one touch from KING Jesus changes water into wine, cause a deaf person to hear, a blind person to see and a lame person to walk and leap for joy. Just one touch of the KING: Changes¬†EVERYTHING¬†in a person’s life.

Jesus is still in the LIFE TRANSFORMATION BUSINESS: He wants to do both; to HEAL and to DELIVER. With Jesus it was miracles and preaching the Kingdom, with the Apostles after Pentecost it was the same, we need to stay balanced and focused on following Jesus example and his commands.

Notice that in both versions of the great commission the emphasis is not on the miracles first, but on the proclamation of the Gospel. That’s God’s tool for bringing lost souls to Himself. It’s the Gospel that has the power to Salvation. We can heal people and they’ll get healed, but imagine healing someone and then not bringing them to faith and trust in Jesus Christ? That would be a terrible tragedy wouldn’t it?

I’ve seen it happen before, a great miracle whilst on an Evangelistic Mission in Cornwall. A woman who’d been wheelchair bound for years was healed instantly. But she did not come to trust Jesus as her Saviour. As a result of her healing the husband did trust Jesus and began attending church, but she went out dancing and lived a reckless loose life, they eventually divorced because of her adultery. Jesus didn’t take her healing away, but she also didn’t become a follower of Jesus. What a tragedy! Yes, let’s go out and heal, but let us also remember that Jesus called us to make Disciples and to lead people to faith and trust in Him, that’s got to be our PRIMARY focus, purpose, calling and reason for going out: In order that many people will be coming to faith and trust in the Living Lord Jesus Christ as their Lord and Saviour. ¬†Amen!

Have an awesome week with Jesus,

Don.

Mark 16:14-20. The Great Commission.
14  Later Jesus appeared to the Eleven as they were eating; he rebuked them for their lack of faith and their stubborn refusal to believe those who had seen him after he had risen.
15 ¬†He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation.
16  Whoever believes and is baptised will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.
17  And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues;
18 ¬†they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well.”
19  After the Lord Jesus had spoken to them, he was taken up into heaven and he sat at the right hand of God.
20  Then the disciples went out and preached everywhere, and the Lord worked with them and confirmed his word by the signs that accompanied it.

Matthew 28:16-20 The Great Commission.
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.”