Helping The BLIND to SEE and The Deaf to HEAR

The Blind and Deaf need our Compassion and Kindness, a miracle so they can see and hear their NEED of Jesus Christ

Daily Spirit & Word: 734: The FISHERMAN’S MIRACLE.

When The Fish Jump INTO the Boat.

 

How does SIN Separate Mankind from God?

People are BLIND = Cannot immediately see their need of Jesus.

People are DEAF = Cannot HEAR when you tell them the Good News.

Need to be shown HOW they’ve become SEPARATED from God.

Good morning my friends, we’ve got a wonderful thing happens once a month in West Norwood: The West Norwood Feast. It’s a GOLDEN Opportunity for us as Christians, to build significant and purposeful relationships with our community. We’ve been commanded by the LORD himself to GO into the world to share the good news, that’s brilliant and so many of us are being obedient to that command here in St Luke’s, in many different ways. However, once a month we don’t really need to go out and go fishing, because it’s like the FISHERMAN’S MIRACLE, the fish are jumping into the boat, i.e. The Community is coming to us.

When we don't need to go fishing
Fish Jump into The Boat

 

THE FISH ARE JUMPING INTO THE BOAT

A TRUTH We’ve Discovered:

94% of people want to go to Heaven.

How have we discovered this TRUTH? Because every week we go out into the streets and engage with people who don’t go to church, and we ask this question: “Do you believe in Heaven?”

Another TRUTH:

They want to go to Heaven on their own terms, i.e. without the NEED of being religious.

How do we know? Because we ask them, “Do you think you’ll get into Heaven when you die?”

Again 100% of people, who believe in heaven, HOPE they’ll get in, and 94% think they’ll be good enough for heaven.

Most say things like this:

  • “You don’t need to go to church to be a “good” person.”
  • “You don’t need to be a religious person to get into Heaven, you just need to be good”.
  • “If there is a God, then He’d be a good God and let people into Heaven”.

This my friends, is the ‘religion’ of the vast majority of people in the world.

They believe in a god that will let anyone into heaven, regardless of how they’ve lived their lives, because most of the time, they’ve been good, i.e. Their good deeds outweigh their bad deeds. So they’ll be good enough for heaven when they die.

They don’t know it, but in believing this, they’ve broken the Second Commandment: They’ve made a god to suit themselves, which is Idolatry. Because their god is not the God of the Bible: It’s a world-wide man-made god. Their god is tollerant of sin and will allow the sinful to get into Heaven. However, we know that they don’t know or understand that God is Holy, Righteous and Good.

WHAT THEY DON’T KNOW OR UNDERSTAND:

My friends, most people don’t know or understand this truth; “How sin actually separates mankind from God”. (or more pointedly, how their own sin has separated them from God forever and forfeited all hope of heaven).

They are convinced of their own goodness in God’s sight. It’s like they are wearing: Dark Glasses and Sound Excluding Headphones. (i.e. they won’t see and can’t hear: The Bible says, they are BLIND and DEAF: DEAD in their transgressions and sins).

So like the miracle of the BLIND man being healed and the DEAF man being able to hear, we need a way to ENABLE them to see and hear this truth.

First: Let’s Check Your Own Compassion Level:

You are out having a picnic at Beachy Head: (Beautiful White Cliffs & Lovely Green Grass): You are sitting eating your sandwiches and drinking your juice. You notice a BLIND MAN: He’s walking along towards the edge of the cliff tops, tapping his white stick. Oh and by the way, he’s wearing PINK Headphones.

If you were watching a Blind Man walking along with big pink headphones on his head, tapping his way with a white-stick towards a three hundred foot cliff, blissfully unaware of where he’s heading, what would you do? WHAT WOULD YOU DO? You know that if he keeps going he’s going to tumble over the edge and die. What would you do?

(BTW: Josie Nystrom: Thank’s for being prepared to act this out in church on Sunday: You are a STAR).

That’s right, YOU’VE GOT COMPASSION, you would run as fast as you could and grab hold of the blind man and stop him in his tracks.

  • Shouting at him wouldn’t work, because he can’t hear you.
  • Showing him the cliff won’t work, because he can’t see the danger. 

So you’d just grab hold of him.

Your NORMAL human compassion kicks-in and you act automatically to stop anyone from falling to their death: right?

Firstly: For you to be able to LEAD people to Jesus from today onwards, I’m going to explain what happened in the Garden of Eden. How mankind, because of Adam’s sin, got separated from God, and remained separated until God came down to the Earth in Jesus and made it possible for us to come back into Heaven (Paradise, The Garden of Eden)  and be with Him again.

Secondly, God has given us a WAY to GRAB PEOPLE: Hold them and show them their DANGER.

Thirdly: Have COMPASSION: Remember, they are BLIND and DEAF: The People of this World who don’t know Jesus Christ as Lord: They can’t see and they can’t hear so they don’t KNOW the Danger they are in.

We KNOW that if they were to die in their sins, they’d face God on Judgement day and be sent to Hell.

Surely we’ve got the same kind of COMPASSION for the lost souls of this world as we have for a blind man walking towards the edge of a cliff?

Listen to your NORMAL Human Compassion and think about their ETERNAL Destiny.

The GARDEN of Eden Explained:

(How SIN Separates Mankind from God). 

To Demonstrate: I need: an Adam, an Eve, God and the Serpent (Devil). (Demonstrate Physically). A fruit tree and an apple (piece of fruit). Light Sabre: Flaming Sword. & Jesus. An Cherub and someone to be Jesus.

Read Genesis Chapter 3. Genesis 3.

(Act it out: Demonstrate HOW Mankind Got Separated From God).

  • God said, “Don’t touch or eat or you will die”:
  • Eve was tempted first, then gave some to Adam.
  • They hid themselves, because they KNEW they were NAKED.
  • God came looking for them. (He knew what they’d done, but wanted to confront them with the truth).
  • Eve blamed the Serpent (Satan).
  • Adam blamed both God and his wife.
  • God banished them all from the Garden of Eden.
  • Put flaming swords in the way… (Question: Why did God put a flaming sword between mankind and Eden? Answer: Because man wants to get Eternal Life without going to God).

What is SIN?

1 John 3:4 (NIV) “Everyone who sins breaks the law; in fact, sin is lawlessness.”

Another translation of the Greek says; “Sin is TRANSGRESSION of The Law”…

The LAW spoken of in the verse above is The Commandments of God. When we sin we break God’s Law. The punishment for breaking God’s law is DEATH and Banishment from God’s presence or access to the tree of life. (Example: See Adam and Eve in Genesis 3)…

What Is The Punishment For SIN?

The Bible tells us: “The soul that sins it shall die” Ezekiel 18:20.

And: “The Wages of sin is DEATH”… Romans 6:23.

A person who sins is acting as if there are no commandments, i.e. without any laws. Or as if God has not said that it’s wrong.

This is a perfect picture of what life is getting like in our world today, people doing whatever they like, as if there is no moral law against it or as if God had not declared in the Commandments: You shall not steal, you shall not lie, you shall not covet, you shall not….

When Adam sinned the whole human race became infected with SIN. It’s in our blood, our nature and our character. We sin from early years all the way through our life. Every day we sin in some way. In our natural born state as human beings, we are sinful. King David said, “I was sinful from birth”… When was the first time in your own life that you became aware of your own sinful condition? For me it was when my brother and I stole some lead. We both knew we were doing wrong, then it was stealing sweets from Woolworths. When we stole those sweets we blamed Woolworths for making it so tempting, by putting them right next to the exit doors. Just because we were tempted to steal, it was our own greed that was driving us, not Woolworths placement of those sweets. One act of stealing, in God’s eyes, makes me and my brother into thieves. We are guilty of stealing. The punishment for sin: is death, because we’re guilty of offending God, not Woolworths. Whenever we sin, our conscience is crying out to us to STOP: But we ignore our own, God given, Conscience. Over time, with repeated offences the conscience gets quieter and quieter until it becomes almost undetectable by our soul. It’s like our conscience becomes seared or dies. However, a miracle can happen, we can have our conscience re-awakened and revived, by Hearing God’s LAW. Suddenly when we hear the Ten Commandments the Conscience comes back to life again and warns us of the impending dangers of our sinful actions, thoughts and choices.

What’s The Cure For SIN?

God came down in Jesus to rescue us from Satan, Sin and Death, Eternal Separation from God in Hell. (Hell is God’s place of banishment for rebellion against Him. Away from God’s presence for all eternity is going to be terrible, all you need to do to know what it’s like is read or listen to the words of Jesus on the subject).

  • But BECAUSE of HIS LOVE: God so loved everyone in the world, He doesn’t want a single soul to perish forever in Hell. So that’s why Jesus came to die in our place upon the Cross.
  • Forgiveness for our sinful rebellion is possible. It’s free for us, but it cost God dearly.

Question: How can we GRAB HOLD of the Blind and Deaf?

  • They can’t see.
  • They won’t hear.

Satan has both blinded them and made them deaf to the Gospel. (i.e. those who’ve never repented and trusted in Jesus).

2 Corinthians 4:3-5 (NIV) They Can’t SEE.
3  And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. (They are Blind)
4  The god of this age (Satan) has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.
5  For we do not preach ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake.

Matthew 13:14-15 (NIV) They Can’t SEE or HEAR.
14  In them is fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah: ” ‘You will be ever hearing but never understanding; you will be ever seeing but never perceiving. 15  For this people’s heart has become calloused (hard); they hardly hear with their ears, and they have closed their eyes. Otherwise they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts and turn (Repent), and I would heal (Forgive and Cleanse) them.’

Thankfully God has given us a WAY:

It is POSSIBLE: To open blind eyes and unblock deaf ears.

With two great tools: To open eyes, unblock ears and in the process to soften hard-hearts.

1) The Conscience: God given moral compass. (Some people’s conscience is dead, but we can bring it back to life again).

2) The Commandments: God has written these upon their hearts. (They KNOW the truth deep down inside their souls).

With these two great Spiritual weapons, we can enable the blind unbeliever to see and the deaf rebel to hear. We can grab hold of them and stop them falling over the deadly cliff of death into the pit of eternal Hell.

Their own Conscience will bear witness to the TRUTH within their hearts. It will do so long after we’ve finished talking with them. Because, with the help of the Holy Spirit (Who’s job it is to bring conviction of sin), they’ll be brought out of the darkness into the light of understanding.

John 16:8 (NIV) “When he (Holy Spirit) comes, he will convict the world of guilt in regard to sin and righteousness and judgment:”

Only the Holy Spirit can bring conviction of sin. All we have to do is get people’s hearts ready for the Holy Spirit to do His work. He’s already bringing conviction upon many people in the world today, because you’ll have been praying for them before you even go and speak to them.

God has chosen you and me, those who believe in Jesus Christ, to work with Him (Holy Spirit) in bringing the world to faith and trust in Jesus Christ.

Here’s HOW Jesus did it: It’s called THE WAY OF THE MASTER.

OPENING UP THE COMMANDMENTS:

(Practically Grabbing Hold of the Blind and Deaf Before they fall into Eternity).

Here is explained HOW to use God’s two great tools to bring people out of the darkness into the light.

Start where people are: That’s what Jesus did.

They (most of them) all want to go to Heaven.

Ask them, “Are you or Do you think you are good enough for heaven?”

Most will think they are or hope they are good enough.

Ask, “Have you heard of God’s Ten Commandments?” Even if they haven’t heard them, they are written upon their hearts anyway, so their conscience will remind them.

Ask, “Do you think you’ve kept those Commandments?”… Most think they have.

Begin by asking, “Have you ever told a lie?” Explain that a liar can’t get into Heaven.

Then proceed through all Ten (if you need to). Most times you won’t need to go through all TEN of the Commandments, because you’ll notice that the Holy Spirit is working on their souls, their conscience also bearing witness. When they stop trying to justify themselves, you’ll know they are ready for the GRACE of the Gospel: The Good News of Jesus Christ.

NOTE: The Old Time Preachers: The Apostles, Jesus Christ, George Whitefield, Charles Wesley, Spurgeon, Moody, J.C. Ryle, etc: all called the COMMANDMENTS (The Law) the preparation of a soul for the Gospel. The preaching of the Law opens up a heart, ploughs the hard soil-hearers, and gets ready for the seed of the Gospel to be planted.

Once you’ve explained the Commandments, and God’s Holy Standards of Righteousness, you don’t need to spend very long at all on the Gospel. The GOOD NEWS.

It’s like a good doctor explaining a patient’s need for treatment. He won’t spend very long on the cure, because once he’s explained the symptoms and what will happen if the patient is not treated, they’ll be ready for the cure. “Give it to me, please, Doctor. Give me the cure…”…

When you are like a good doctor and explain the patient’s need for a cure, then I’m sure you are going to see many of those fishes jumping into the boat all by themselves 🙂 Once they know the danger they are in, they’ll jump into the net of Salvation.

The CURE for Sin’s Curse: Death and Hell: New Life and Heaven.

Jesus came and died in their place upon the Cross, so they don’t need to go to their death with their sins still on them, they can be forgiven, cleansed and given a new life, if they will believe in Jesus, trust that His death was for them, turn in repentance (forsaking sin) and receive Him as their Lord and Saviour. (SEE The GOOD NEWS of Jesus Christ).

Conclusion:

Here in West Norwood in London, we’ve been given a Golden Opportunity, when the World comes to us once a month for the FEAST, let’s be focused and be ready to make the most of God’s amazing golden opportunities, and build significant relationships with those He is already drawing into His Kingdom Family. With His help and tools we can open up blind eyes and deaf ears.

Be strategic, look for the people who’s hearts He’s already softening:

  • They’ll be the ones He’s drawing to Himself,
  • They’ll be open to hearing the Good News about Jesus.
  • They’ll be ready to discover a new way of living.
  • They’ll be frustrated with their life so far.
  • They’ll be aware they can’t live-up to their own standards.
  • They’ll be being convicted by the Holy Spirit of their need of Jesus.

They may not be instantly ready to repent, because it may take several times to hear God’s good news and the whole Gospel, but there will be AN OPENNESS. Remember how stubborn you were, before you finally repented and trusted in Jesus Christ? It took a while to convince you of your own need of a Saviour, so don’t ever give up on someone, keep praying for your loved ones every day. God cares more about their eternal welfare than you do, He’s patient, because He doesn’t want a single human soul to perish in Hell. (2 Peter 3:9).

Remember: Adam and Eve, they show us how the great divide happened, how mankind’s relationship with God was broken, and in Jesus Christ, God’s Son, we find the cure for man’s sinful rebellion, sin, wickedness and waywardness. Like the compassion we have for the Blind Man, let’s be filled with the same compassion as our Lord Jesus Christ has and go out and save those He’s calling into His Kingdom family. Amen!

The People of this World need our COMPASSION not our CONDEMNATION.

Have a wonderful week, keep fishing for men and women.

Remember to have compassion because they are blind and deaf; don’t shout at them they can’t hear you, don’t try and show them, because they can’t see their need of Jesus yet, but rescue them and with the tools God has provided to open blind eyes and unblock deaf ears; Their Conscience and His Commandments, and the Holy Spirit working on their souls, together let’s make them aware of their spiritual condition: let’s go fishing for souls in the sea of life. Hopefully, with God’s help, we’ll be able to catch a few fish before we’re taken back into our Eternal dwelling place. Amen!

Jesus said, “I will make you fishers of men” Matthew 4:19 and Mark 1:17… i.e. When we come to Jesus, He makes us want to catch fish.

“If you don’t want other people to be saved, then you are NOT saved yourself. Be certain of that.” Charles Spurgeon.

The people of this world need our compassion not our condemnation.

They are Blind and Deaf: But you can, with God’s tools and help, open up their EYES and EARS…

Be blessed in Jesus,

Don.

The People of this world are BLIND and DEAF: S.O.S….

They need our compassion and kindness, to be shown their need of a Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ. They are headed for a fall into Eternity, so let’s get the same kind of compassion as Jesus Christ has, and save some souls. There is an S.O.S. but they don’t know their danger, because if they did they’d cry out “S.O.S” … “Save Our Souls”…

 

Faith Comes From God

Faith is a gift from God

Daily Spirit & Word 578: Faith Comes From God.

Good morning my friends, I’m still enjoying holiday time. Recently we’ve been having family staying and it’s been really great catching up on our daughter’s life. Hearing her joys and hardships and experiences; stories that without meeting up would remain untold or forgotten. It’s amazing how many things don’t get said often enough.

Faith doesn’t come from inside the individual: It is first generated by God.

We often imagine that faith comes from our own efforts:

I recently bought some silicone sealant: It comes in great long tubes and it’s really difficult to get them flowing at first, requiring great effort to squeeze out even a tiny dribble of the thick-creamy-goo from the nozzle. However, once it’s flowing it’s quite easy to keep it going, getting it to go where you want it to go is another thing though. I’ve watched trained craftsmen and they’re just dazzling they way they make straight lines with silicone; mines are more often than not; wobbly, lumpy and with peaks resembling a lemon meringue pie 🙂

Some people think that faith needs to be squeezed out like that, but it’s not by effort or force that faith comes.

Listen to how the Bible tells us that faith comes, and from whom it comes, because once you know this you’ll be less likely to be frustrated by your own and other people’s lack of faith. Also, If you want other people to come to a living faith in Jesus, then you’ll know how to achieve it, because you’ll be freed from many false expectations and you’ll also be able to set other people free too.

1) Faith is a Gift:

 Ephesians 2:8 (NLT) “God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God.”

It’s not by our own effort of good works or anything else we do, it’s a GIFT from God.

2)  Faith comes by hearing:

And it comes into a person’s life by hearing God’s Word.

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

The ‘message’: (Read Romans 10:8-17 in Context below) It’s the whole Gospel of Jesus Christ: How all have sinned against God, what it means that we’ve sinned, how we have sinned, the consequences of sin, what happens to sinners if they were to die in their sin, God’s heart for sinners and how He demonstrated His love by sending His Son Jesus to save sinners from the wrath to come, then what it means to trust in Jesus by repenting and receiving Him as Lord: That’s the MESSAGE: People receive the gift of faith when they hear that message, it’s a gift that comes from God.

Sometimes as you share the ‘message’ of Christ, you’ll actually see faith coming upon a person, it changes them physically. Once a person has faith enough to believe, then all that’s needed is for them to exercise that saving faith in the Lord Jesus Christ Rom 10:8-17.

3) Faith grows:

The more you exercise your God given faith, the more it will grow and the easier those mountains will be removed.

1 John 5:4-5  “for everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. 5  Who is it that overcomes the world? Only he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God.”

That’s Mountain Moving Faith:

Matthew 17:20-21  “And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief (lack of faith and trust in God): for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you. 21  Howbeit this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting.”

4) Faith is BELIEVING:

Remember that faith is BELIEVING in God, or believing what God has said. Jesus reminded His disciples on many occasions that they could move mountains if they had just a tiny amount of faith, even faith as small as a mustard seed. When you’re ready to believe God, what God has said in His Word; you’re ready to do ANYTHING.

Hebrews 11:1-13 Faith is Believing (Trusting / Risking Everything in and on God).

1 Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.
2  This is what the ancients were commended for. 
3  By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible. 
4  By faith Abel offered God a better sacrifice than Cain did. By faith he was commended as a righteous man, when God spoke well of his offerings. And by faith he still speaks, even though he is dead. 
5  By faith Enoch was taken from this life, so that he did not experience death; he could not be found, because God had taken him away. For before he was taken, he was commended as one who pleased God.
6  And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him. 
7  By faith Noah, when warned about things not yet seen, in holy fear built an ark to save his family. By his faith he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness that comes by faith. 
8  By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going.
9  By faith he made his home in the promised land like a stranger in a foreign country; he lived in tents, as did Isaac and Jacob, who were heirs with him of the same promise.
10  For he was looking forward to the city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God. 
11  By faith Abraham, even though he was past age—and Sarah herself was barren—was enabled to become a father because he considered him faithful who had made the promise.
12  And so from this one man, and he as good as dead, came descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as countless as the sand on the seashore. 
13  All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance. And they admitted that they were aliens and strangers on earth.

Conclusion:

“Faith comes from God; it’s His gift to those who hear the Gospel, but it needs to be exercised for it to grow stronger, exercise your faith and you’ll see mountains being moved.”

So my friends, if you have found that your own faith has begun to smoulder, then you know how to get it glowing again; get into God’s Word and let Him speak to you afresh. Avail yourself of all that He’s provided to enable that GIFT of faith to grow.

Secondly, if you’ve got friends who don’t yet believe or know God personally, then don’t simply say “Believe in Jesus” because that’s like trying to force silicone-sealant out of the tube with your fingers instead of using the device that’s been provided to make it easy. Faith is a gift from God, it comes by HEARING God’s Word, then it needs to be exercised to make it grow.

Another way to think of faith: It’s like a muscle. We’re all born with the gift of muscles, but some people get really huge muscles because they exercise them, the same is true with faith, God will give the gift of faith to anyone, but to make it grow it needs to be exercised. The way to spell faith is RISK 🙂

Have an awesome day, growing in the faith of the Lord Jesus Christ. Share your faith by letting those who don’t know Jesus know His Word and see how faith explodes into life in those professing atheists 🙂 Watch them backslide away from atheism.

Don.

NOTES:

Read Romans 10 in Context Below:

Romans 10:6-17 6  But the righteousness based on faith [imputed by God and bringing right relationship with Him] says, Do not say in your heart, Who will ascend into Heaven? that is, to bring Christ down;
7  Or who will descend into the abyss? that is, to bring Christ up from the dead [as if we could be saved by our own efforts].
8  But what does it say? The Word (God’s message in Christ) is near you, on your lips and in your heart; that is, the Word (the message, the basis and object) of faith which we preach,
9  Because if you acknowledge and confess with your lips that Jesus is Lord and in your heart believe (adhere to, trust in, and rely on the truth) that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.
10  For with the heart a person believes (adheres to, trusts in, and relies on Christ) and so is justified (declared righteous, acceptable to God), and with the mouth he confesses (declares openly and speaks out freely his faith) and confirms [his] salvation.
11  The Scripture says, No man who believes in Him [who adheres to, relies on, and trusts in Him] will [ever] be put to shame or be disappointed.
12  [No one] for there is no distinction between Jew and Greek. The same Lord is Lord over all [of us] and He generously bestows His riches upon all who call upon Him [in faith].
13  For everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord [invoking Him as Lord] will be saved.
14  But how are people to call upon Him Whom they have not believed [in Whom they have no faith, on Whom they have no reliance]? And how are they to believe in Him [adhere to, trust in, and rely upon Him] of Whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without a preacher?
15  And how can men [be expected to] preach unless they are sent? As it is written, How beautiful are the feet of those who bring glad tidings! [How welcome is the coming of those who preach the good news of His good things!]
16  But they have not all heeded the Gospel; for Isaiah says, Lord, who has believed (had faith in) what he has heard from us?
17  So faith comes by hearing [what is told], and what is heard comes by the preaching [of the message that came from the lips] of Christ (the Messiah Himself).

 

 

Hearing The Voice Of Jesus

His Sheep Hear His Voice

Daily Spirit & Word, 490: Hearing The Voice Of Jesus.

40 Days With Jesus: Day 5: Hearing The Voice Of Jesus.

Good morning my friends, we had another brilliant Kingdom day on Friday. In the afternoon we went out onto the Streets sharing the Gospel with folks and handing out tracts. We got into quite a few great conversations, but the one that stands out the most was an elderly lady, who was so cold towards Jesus that it literally made the hairs on my neck stand up straight, but my colleague David was very gentle, calm and persistent with her. Though initially she was completely indifferent, she eventually warmed up a little and began to share why she didn’t believe or wouldn’t believe. Finally we left with a smile and a prayer for her. Not everyone welcomes the Good News and to some, as the Bible says, “We’re the smell of death” for them. It touched both of us, because this lady was quite elderly and ready to take the leap from Earth into Eternity unprepared. It was like having someone on a plane that was about to crash and the pilot had already issued the passengers with a parachute, but she was like one of the passengers who’s refusing to put her parachute on, declaring, “I don’t believe this plane is going to crash, so why do I need to put this thing on?”. We know that anyone who’s not trusted in the Lord Jesus before the dreadful day of departure arrives will spend Eternity in Hell and yesterday we felt for this woman. She’d heard the Gospel, but rejected it many times in her life. We don’t know the reasons why, but she was as closed as closed could be. Please pray for her today. We had many great conversations and some that led people to point of wanting to trust the Saviour for Salvation, but I share about the old lady, because not everyone will be hearing the voice of Jesus as we speak, they’ll be forever hearing by not perceiving.

Hearing the Voice of Jesus.

John 20:15-16 (NIV)
15  “Woman,” he said, “why are you crying? Who is it you are looking for?” Thinking he was the gardener, she said, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will get him.” 16  Jesus said to her, “Mary.” She turned towards him and cried out in Aramaic, “Rabboni!” (which means Teacher).

Today on the fifth day of 40 Days With Jesus, we’ve reached an important occasion. In John 20:15-16, we see something really significant. Dave Smith calls it, “The Most Significant Moment In Human History”, because it’s the day that Jesus spoke in His resurrected body to another human being. The Lord of Heaven spoke to Mary Magdalene, she was the first to hear His voice. It’s important for another reason, because she heard Jesus in the same way that each one of us who come to faith in Him also hear the revelation of His voice, because my friends Jesus is speaking to us today.

The Scene At The Tomb Of Jesus.

Mary Magdalene was looking for Jesus body, she’d told the Disciples the body was gone, they’d come and inspected the tomb and returned home, but Mary lingered, crying and weeping, desperate to find the Lord’s body. She’d failed to recognise the Angelic visitors in the tomb as being something Heavenly happening with Jesus resurrected body. Now she turns to Jesus, thinking He’s the gardener, and Jesus asks her a question. He engages her in conversation: He asked her, “Woman, why are you crying? Who is it that you are looking for?”. Even though it was Jesus speaking, she didn’t recognise His voice.

My friends, there are people being called in the God’s Kingdom today, He’s speaking to them, but they are NOT recognising who’s voice it is. Whenever, the Gospel is proclaimed, it’s God calling and reaching out through the preacher’s voice into the hearts and lives of those who listen. Jesus said that would happen,  Mark 4:11-12 11  He told them, “The secret of the kingdom of God has been given to you. But to those on the outside everything is said in parables 12  so that, ” ‘they may be ever seeing but never perceiving, and ever hearing but never understanding; otherwise they might turn and be forgiven!’

2 Timothy 3:6-7  “They are the kind who worm their way into homes and gain control over weak-willed women, who are loaded down with sins and are swayed by all kinds of evil desires, 7  always learning but never able to acknowledge the truth.”

Mary didn’t recognise it was Jesus speaking to her.

Jesus Shows Himself:

It’s one thing to rise from the dead and dissappear into Eternity, but quite another to rise and then show yourself ALIVE to people, that’s what Jesus was doing and He did it first with Mary Magdalene.

Not A Vision or A Ghost:

Secondly, it’s important to note that Mary is not just seeing a vision or a ghost or something she’s imagined, Jesus is REAL, He’s ALIVE and He could be touched by people. Yes, Jesus could appear and disappear, but when He was with people; He spoke, ate and could be touched by them. Remember the incident with doubting Thomas, we come to that later in the course. Jesus is real and alive today my friends, and He’s promised to be right there with us when we gather together in His name and He’s also promised that He’ll be IN those who trust in Him for Salvation. You can actually KNOW Jesus today.

Jesus Call His Sheep By Name:

Thirdly and of immense importance for everyone today, is that Jesus calls Mary by name. He knew Mary and He knows each and everyone of us too. John records that Jesus is the Good Shepherd.

John 10:1-5 1  “I tell you the truth, the man who does not enter the sheep pen by the gate, but climbs in by some other way, is a thief and a robber. 2  The man who enters by the gate is the shepherd of his sheep. 3  The watchman opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. 4  When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice. 5  But they will never follow a stranger; in fact, they will run away from him because they do not recognise a stranger’s voice.”

It was only when Jesus said, “Mary” that she knew who He was. She wasn’t expecting to find Jesus alive, that’s probably why she didn’t recognise Him at first, but when He spoke her name, WOWzer! Suddenly her revelation came. “He’s ALIVE”… You can hear it in her head, she grabs hold of Jesus. She touches the risen Lord. He tells her not to hold onto him.

My friends, Jesus is calling each and every one in the world today. He’s calling out and some listen, some hear, some respond and some begin to worship. Mary called Him “Rabboni” which means; ‘Teacher’.

Mary was called by Jesus, she heard His voice and recognised who He was. She was led that day our of her darkness into the light of understanding and revelation, for distress and grief into everlasting joy, because she met the risen Saviour. We can get that same kind of revelation for ourselves today. When we meet the risen Saviour by faith, when we read God’s Words in the Bible, He’ll speak to us to, Jesus speaks to us today by His Spirit and He’s calling you too my friends.

Jesus is calling everyone into a NEW and DEEPER understanding of who He is and what He wants for your life. Will you come and spend a day with Jesus. We’re spending 40 Days With Jesus and each day our understanding is growing.

Have an awesome Saturday my friends, come tomorrow for Worship, come on Tuesday for the gathering together to watch the video for the week and share in discussion what you’ve been learning every day.

God bless and keep you in Jesus today,

Don.

Points to Ponder:

  •  What an incredible thought, that God Almighty, the King of the Heavens, knows you and me by name! Do you need to hear Jesus calling your name?
  • How aware are you that Jesus is a real person, with thoughts, feelings, a personality and a voice? What difference does this make to the way you can relate to Him today?
  • How will you live differently today knowing that Jesus is present with you right now by the Holy Spirit? Just as Jesus spoke to Mary in her despair, so He can and will speak to you, too. The great news is that your ‘lows’ can be made ‘highs’ by just one word from the Saviour of your soul. 

Prayer:

Dear Lord Jesus Christ, I thank You Lord for caring enough about me to call my name and I thank You for making it possible for me to hear your voice and respond to Your call. Holy Spirit, I welcome You into my life and ask that You would make real to me the presence of Jesus in a wonderful fresh way today. I know that I’m honoured that You would choose to make Your home in my heart. Show me how I can be a great host to You today. Help me to know Your Presence wherever I am in the world and to be listening out for Your voice. Amen. 

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